News

TICAD7: DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT OF THE AFRICAN FIRST LADIES FOR DEVELOPMENT (OAFLAD) ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND RESPONSE -Yokohama, August 28, 2019

28 August 2019

This is the declaration of commitments by OAFLAD First Ladies members to prevent and respond to gender-based violence at the end of the side event "Zero VGender Based Violence for Africa's Future - Together we can" during TICAD 7 in Yokohama Japan on 28 August 2019.

 

TICAD7: DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT OF THE AFRICAN FIRST LADIES FOR DEVELOPMENT (OAFLAD)

ON

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND RESPONSE

 

Yokohama, August 28, 2019

 

 

We, First Ladies, members of the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), have gathered today, August 28, 2019, in Yokohama, Japan, aside from TICAD7, during the high-level event focused on "Zero gender-based violence for Africa’s future: together, we can", jointly organized by the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) and in collaboration with the African Union.

In the presence of Heads of State and Government from Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, the First Lady of Japan, Ministers representing governments from Africa, Japan and Norway, representatives of the African Union, heads of UN institutions and civil society;

We, African First Ladies, reaffirm our resolve to put an end to gender-based violence and other harmful practices;

Commend the Japanese Government for its interest in gender issues and human security, and welcome the "womenomics" initiative, which promotes women’s role and employability as one of the pillars of the Japanese economy, namely in building resilient and sustainable societies;

Commend the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its Executive Director Natalia Kanem for the choice in its strategic plan as one of its transformative goals of eliminating gender-based violence and other harmful practices;

Strongly convinced:

  • That prevention of, and response to, gender-based violence (GBV) and other harmful practices are essential to bridge gender gaps, generate a lasting impact on poverty and support sustainable economic growth and a social well-being that benefits everyone;
  • That gender-based violence (GBV) and other harmful practices constitute a global affront to human rights, human security, and constitute a public health crisis as well as a major obstacle to enhanced business and economic development;
  • That gender-based violence is a crime and a serious human rights violation;

Note that the declarations of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and that of the Beijing Platform for Action aim to strengthen women’s power at social, economic and political levels, promote their economic independence, provide them with better protection against the growing violence against them while ensuring equal access to education and health care; including sexual and reproductive health;

Consistent with the principles of the United Nations 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind and reach the most vulnerable, disadvantaged or those exposed to violence and discrimination;

 

Adhere to Agenda 2063, "The Africa We Want," namely its Aspiration 6, which states: An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and that achieving this goal requires eliminating all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination;

 

Noting the commitments made to end gender-based violence in humanitarian situations at the Oslo Conference in May 2019;

 

Deeply concerned by the current situation of violence against women and girls and the seriousness and extent of harmful practices that undermine the realization of their rights and directly affect our countries’ social and economic development;

Are convinced that:

  • The Organization of African First Ladies for Development is a strategic platform for strengthening partnerships and collaboration between different actors, to scale up the implementation of innovative and effective strategies to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and other harmful practices;
  • For women to play an equal role in sustainable development, peace and security, they must be kept free from violence and represented politically and economically at all levels of decision-making;

 

Are firmly committed to advancing the goals of ending gender-based violence and other harmful practices in line with our strategic plan and as part of our partnerships;

Are firmly committed to contributing to the elimination of gender-based violence through the following advocacy efforts towards the:

  • Establishment and/or implementation of a zero tolerance policy on gender-based violence and other harmful practices;
  • Development, monitoring or revision of legal and policy frameworks to address GBV and other harmful practices
  • Strengthening of laws on violence against women, and their implementation, as well as measures to improve women's access to justice;
  • Establishment of specific offices for gender-based violence prevention and response, such as women's community police brigades and the Center for Listening and Legal Advice, to improve and facilitate access for victims of gender-based violence to care services;
  • Establishment in the courts a special component to ensure the rapid processing of gender-based violence cases, as pertains to investigations, prosecutions and judgments;
  • Establishment of national observatories for protection against gender-based violence and other harmful practices;
  • Introduction, updating or expansion of national action plans to end violence against women and girls;
  • Introduction or enhancement of services for victims of violence such as shelters, hotlines, specialized health services, legal services, justice services, counseling and housing, among others;
  • Involvement of men, adolescents, religious and community leaders in the fight against gender-based violence and other harmful practices, such as early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM);

 

Call on the Government of Japan and our partners such as UNFPA to set up an appropriate framework for cooperating with the OAFLAD on issues of women's empowerment and gender-based violence and other harmful practices;

Request the African Union to consider the elimination of gender-based violence and other harmful practices as theme for one of its upcoming summits;

Request the support of the attending Heads of State and Government to bring this advocacy to fruition;

 

In witness whereof, we, the First Ladies gathered here, have signed this Declaration.

Drafted in Yokohama -Tokyo, August 28, 2019