Africa's female Foreign Affairs ministers ask AU to mainstream gender in its Covid-19 strategies
Female Foreign Affairs ministers across Africa have called for increased gender perspectives and women leadership in the continent's strategy against Covid-19.
In a communique released after a virtual meeting between Foreign Affairs ministers of eight African countries including Kenya, the ministers challenged the African Union (AU) to mainstream gender perspectives in its strategies, calling for specific measures focusing on women and girls in ensuring their rights, safety and wellbeing are protected.
The leaders also asked countries to reinforce women's platforms such as the African Women Leaders Network and the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation to address the gaps that lead to invisibility and disenfranchisement of women, girls, youth and children.
"We acknowledge that during this crisis, women are at the forefront, caring for their families and communities, and working in both the formal and informal sector, providing essential services and placing their own lives and health at risk," the communique reads.
The women expressed concern over the devastating effects the pandemic will have on health systems, peace and stability, economies, livelihoods and the wellbeing of women and girls.