2nd Women Advancement For Economic And Leadership Empowerment In Africa, (WAELE/ARCELFA) Continental Conference On The African Woman In A Contemporary World
ISSUES ON POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
VENUE: ECOWAS COMMISSION, ASOKORO, ABUJA, NIGERIA.
DATES: JULY 11 – 13, 2005
At the opening ceremony, five papers were presented in addition to goodwill messages from some of the participating coordinators. At the plenary session of the first day, six papers were presented. Four papers were presented on the second day. At the end of the second day, the participants were divided into four groups that were expected to deliberate on four of the presentations made within the first two days, on the third and final day. 28 Countries Attended.
The group sessions of the third day deliberated on the following presentation topics:
All the group deliberated on the keynote Address that was presented by Hon. Ambassador Gertrude I. Mongella, M.P., President African Parliament, South Africa.
TOPIC FOR GROUP ONE:
Role of government in attracting support and nurturing women entrepreneurs.
TOPIC FOR GROUP TWO:
Peace, conflict resolution and sustainable development in Africa.
TOPIC FOR GROUP THREE:
Women empowerment in Africa: challenges and opportunities.
TOPIC FOR GROUP FOUR:
Maternal Mortality and Morbidity.
At the end of the deliberations of the four groups, the conference came up with the following agenda for an action plan, with which the various WAELE /ARCELFA country, state and Local government affiliations would coordinate concerted efforts aimed at championing the economic and political empowerment of the African woman, by harnessing the various local and internationally available capacity building programmes, access of women to loan and credit facilities, adequate mobilization, trade fairs, industrial and political party activities active involvement:
AGENDA FOR POLITICAL AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Members of WAELE/ARCELFA should utilize whatever means available to them to mobilize the women in their various localities about the urgent need to consider and vie for leadership opportunities in their various local, state and federal constituents in their various countries;
They should technically pressurize their various governments to ensure that the various educational systems in the various countries in Africa that do not favour educational gender equality at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are urgently re-visited, so as to make sure that equal opportunity are given to boys, girls, men and women in school admissions, scholarship;
The education of women should be for mental, intellectual, economic and political liberation;
Women should move for the replacement of all poverty alleviation policies in their various countries’ legislatures with policy for wealth creation that would ensure gender equality;
Women in politics should ensure that the legislations in their various countries that infringe upon the fundamental human rights of women are repealed and replaced with those that favour women, since they form the majority in every polity;
Women should collectively fight against the current wind of globalization apartheid;
Members in politics should ensure that their various governments make policies that are aimed at encouraging sectoral and national programmes that would better recognize and effectively involve women as equal partners, decision maker and beneficiaries in shaping a great future for all their children;
Women in power should endeavour to recruit female aids such as; personal assistants, special assistants and board members, instead of surrounding themselves with male only personal staff;
Women should always speak with one voice on issues that concern legislations, fundamental human rights, national laws, religion, economy and leadership;
Women should rally round and mobilize votes for reputable women political office contestants in their various localities and ensure that they win their elections;
Women should ensure that they are not stampeded by men into impromptu power bargaining negotiations. All positions should be logically negotiated and the required favourable terms should be mutually agreed upon by all the men and women concerned;
Members should liaise with the secretariat in Abuja to organize local seminars and workshops for all the women in their constituent who are interested in contesting elections. Such events should ensure that policies are made that would barn the charging of female political aspirant fees;
Women should stop seeing themselves as being inferior to men, they should not allow themselves to be bullied or silenced by men’s petty incentives that will make them to concede their political and educational rights to men;
Governments should provide free education for the girl child and disadvantaged adult women;
Women should actively participate in the global war against corruption, drug abuse, violent crimes against women and terrorism.
AGENDA FOR ECONOMIC AND HEALTH DEVELOPMENT:
The various coordinators of WAELE/ARCELFA should go back home and get a list of the women who require specific interventions in their various locations, and forward same to the WAELE/ARCELFA secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria for immediate action.
The various coordinators should ensure that their members apply for and adequately benefit from the various local and international health, capacity building, loan/credit facilities and other economic empowerment programmes through them. They should constantly liaise with the Abuja secretariat promptly as regards this issues;
The various governments in Africa should formulate and implement policies that will ensure and enhance the participation of women in entrepreneurship;
Members should pressurize their various governments to provide the adequate infrastructure required for the maximum productivity of women;
Women in politics should get their various government to establish agencies that will help to train, monitor, regulate, and render free consultancy service to women entrepreneur. This will boost sustainable development and the various economics of the countries of Africa;
There should be increase girl child and adult women literacy campaigns at the grassroots such that every woman would have access to formal, computer and modern information super highway education;
Women should form business cooperative groups that can be eligible for local and international micro credit facilities;
Women should be trained on entrepreneurship skills that will ensure their acquisition of good business management skills;
Women groups and cooperatives should ensure that they participate in local and international trade fairs that will boost the economy of their various countries;
More vocational training centres should be established for grassroots women;
women should ensure that comprehensive reproductive health and family planning education are entrenched in the curricula of primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in their countries, states and local governments councils;
Governments should prevent poor reproductive health service delivery by legislating against orthodox and traditional gynaecological quackery;
Governments should ensure a strong monitoring and evaluation of the health system such that women should be included in the monitoring team;
Governments should ensure that all women of reproductive age have access to free antenatal health delivery services;
Religious and traditional leaders should be involved in the sensitisation and mobilization workshop on reproductive health and other issue that concern women;
The government should reform the abortion law to include indication in case of rape, incest and other severe medical conditions for safe abortion service