The African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM), in collaboration with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), has launched a Call to Action toward ending all forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Africa.
Information about the launch is contained in a statement issued by Hajiya Kori Habib, the Media Associate of UNFPA Nigeria on Thursday.
Habib stated that the call was launched during a high-level meeting by the AFLPM in New York on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) with the theme “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings.”
She added that “this Call to Action contains commitments, recommendations and request for urgent action by signatories, public institutions, partners and civil society organisations to accelerate their determined efforts aimed at ending GBV.”
The media associate said that the first ladies at the high-level meeting reiterated the importance and benefits of the participation of women and young girls in the Sahel region as peace-builders and peace-makers, drawing inspiration from universal articles.
She listed such articles to include the October 2000 UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) which specifically addresses the situation of women in armed conflict, and the December 2015 UNSCR on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS), among others.
She stated that the African first ladies urged member states to give youths greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels and empower young women and girls with skill-sets that would accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The African first ladies also urged states to prioritise prevention and timely response mechanisms to all forms of GBV in national plans, strategies and programmes.
Other requests of the first ladies include deliberate measures toward ensuring that women, including young girls, are among the front-row occupants at the decision-making table in all state matters.
The first ladies urged states to prioritise girls’ education under safe environment as critical to improving the well-being of women and for their meaningful inclusion and participation in the formal sector, as well as a strategy for poverty reduction.
African states should ensure the diffusion of sexual and reproductive health education, including family planning, to enable women to assert control over their body to be able to reach their full potential and meaningfully contribute to sustainable development, the first ladies also urged.
The AFLPM call to action requested African heads of states and governments to ensure availability of quality, accessible, affordable, resilient preventive and response services for all forms of GBV and strengthen universal health coverage systems.
The first ladies commit to using the AFLPM platform to support these efforts for the development of women and girls in the region.(NAN)