Promoting Gender Equality And Women Empowerment
In Africa, the role of women is still greatly undermined. Women are still subjected to many forms of discrimination. They suffer the most during conflict, wars and instability. Unjust and unfair cultural practices against women in Africa have largely accounted for their absences and influences in major economic or political decision while women access to power is slim. According to UNIFEM, larger number of women are increasingly taking up the role of breadwinner in Africa, but their contribution to development is largely underlooked and very few and effective policies are in place to support, empower or sustain their achievements. As a result the life of women has not changed in any meaningful way.
CEDCOW therefore believe that empowering and educating women is paramount to effectively manage and control vital resources, promote sustainable development and alleviate poverty. We therefore involve and engage women in decision making process, development planning, management and control of resources. We also support and engage women in training and skill development while building a support network to strengthen their activities in these domains.
We believe that in any society where the status of the woman is low, it is difficult for families to strive. When women are empowered, the whole family and society benefit and these benefits have multiplier effect to future generations. Addressing women issues also require appreciation that women are a diverse group in the roles they play vise- a -vise their age educational attainment, etc. From our range of activities actions and project portfolios CEDCOW will identify women who are most marginalized and vulnerable and proposed suitable projects and interventions to support their concerns, specific needs and aspirations.
CEDCOW believe that addressing gender equality and women empowerment requires strategic intervention especially in education and economic empowerment, reproductive health, resource management,etc. We will also work with our partners to identify and address these imbalances, given women more autonomy to manage their own lives, have equal opportunities for financial independence, through work or through setting of business, micro credit scheme,etc, and enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions.
Gender Equality for Sustainable Development. "Our approach"
We support mainstreaming gender perspective in our policies and strategies, eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination of women and improving the status, health and economic welfare of women and girls through full and equal access to land, credit , education and health care.
In spite of African women’s mobilization, advocacy, and increased representation in governance at regional and national levels, normative gains are not yet reflected in substantial changes in women’s lives.
African women, especially those living in rural communities and those with disabilities, still face daunting challenges. African women constitute the majority of both urban and rural poor (over 70 percent in some countries). Unequal power relations between women and men, the skewed distribution of remunerated and unremunerated work, unequal inheritance rights in some countries, food insecurity and lack of secure access to land, water, energy, as well as inadequate support for women’s entrepreneurship are some of the major causes of women’s poverty. Widespread poverty among women also affect other critical areas, such as women’s health and education. The cumulative effects of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, food insecurity, low economic productivity, low levels of education and the upsurge of sexual violence have left African women and girls vulnerable with considerable challenges. Women are the most exposed to HIV/AIDS infection due to extreme poverty and their responsibility in caring for infected and affected persons. Even in countries where overall HIV prevalence is low, some cultural and traditional practices continue to inhibit progress in promoting women and girls’ human rights. Women and girls continue to risk death from maternal mortality with one in every 16 pregnancies in Sub-Saharan Africa resulting in death.
Amongst other measures CEDCOW is also committed in :
Promote women activities in all sectors.
Integrate gender equality and equity into democratic process.
Empower and support women activities.