African Women’s Commission (AWCOM):
Transforming Gender for Africa’s Reform
- The AWCOM promises to become a major stabilising institution for Africa’s reform through economic, gender equalisation, education, infrastructure and mutually advantageous partnership with the rest of the world.
- Creating and sustaining a Commission for the purpose of empowering the voiceless, grossly abused and exploited citizens of Africa requires the support of World Governments and Policy decision makers.
- Like other world institutions, the AWCOM will need time to evolve to effectively reflect fast changing global realties.
- AWCOM Must be independent of African Governments to survive providing the 3rd arm of international partnerships.
- AWCOM Must have international Visibility to be SAFE.
The creation of AWCOM will amount to raising the profile of African women for international recognition; empowerment; improved status and combine the voices and contributions of Africa’s civil society. The AWCOM vision is that improving women’s status will eliminate violence and wars against women and achieve Africa’s reform necessary for sustainable peace and development.
Our Mission and Aim for AWCOM is to empower African women as a whole from the grass roots to enable them add their voices in their own rights, protect women’s rights, enhance their chances as members of African civil societies and members of the human race.
African women have from time immemorial been the backbone of their homes, communities and nations and hence their Continent, yet the contributions they are making to the survival of a Continent that continues to bear the burden of sustaining industrialization and civilisation of the first and second worlds are ignored nationally and internationally.
Africa’s history in the world is that of major failings and throughout, African women have been absent from the making of their history. It is therefore not surprising that all Partnership agreements with the rest of the world fail to achieve the desired outcome.
The lack of formal recognition of the valuable contributions that women are making to Africa’s history and survival continues to represent the missing link for securing Africa’s reformation. The exclusion of African women from policy decision making process in Africa and at the world stage represents a major obstacle to sustainable socio-economic and political development of Africa.
Governments Pay Lip service to Gender Empowerment & Equality
It is an open secret that most African governments pay lip service to gender equally prompting a percentage of women in engaging in harsh tactics to propel themselves into the political stage. At most, although some of these women are present at the political decision making table, they are unable to influence decisions at governmental level. As they are prone to protecting their status and individual achievement, hence unable to offend their male counterpart during debate of issues affecting the population.
African Women are disconnect from their Countries and Communities
The majority of women are left to seek economic means to educate and sustain their families being their traditional role in African societies. Not as members of their societies and countries but as individuals isolated from the rest of society and the world.
International Money Remittance
As painful as it continues to be, the world continue to see the abuse of women’s rights in many forms ranging from international trafficking for sexual exploitation and for modern slavery under different titles. Our experience is showing that many African women are trotting the world seeking economic means of sustaining themselves and the children and extended families that they left behind.
Strengthening Africa’s Civil Society
The African Women’s Commission (AWCOM) will raise and sustain the profile of African women to international level and represent the first major step towards giving Voice to African women across Africa, thus effectively representing the empowerment of civil African society.
Traditionally African women are the custodians of Africa’s culture and well being, they see themselves primarily as responsible for creating a safe and stable future for their children and future generations.
AWCOM will effectively work with African governments; international governments and Institutions to ensure that national and international agendas and partnerships are in the best interest and protection of Africa’s future. The women will protect Africa’s environment; resources and our place in world history.
Implementing provisions of International Treaties:
African women can ensure compliance of international treaties signed on their behalf by African governments
Reducing Isolation and misunderstanding of African Culture
With the understanding and knowledge of the factors that disconnect women and girl children from their government and the rest of the world, African women through AWCOM will work towards reducing the level of misunderstanding about African women and their culture and to bridge the gap created by governments disconnected from the citizenry.
To reduce the level of disconnection, discrimination and isolation that African women continue suffer across the Continent, AWCOM will lobby, research and institute projects that will adequately connect with and benefit women across the Continent.
The Structure of the African Women’s Commission (AWCOM)
The Structure of the AWCOM would be such that ultimate authority resides with African women as represented as follows: -
The General Assembly:
Women will come together at Assembly in a country to be agreed every two years to monitor and evaluate the functioning of AWCOM and decide policy decisions made on their behalf by AWCOM Parliament.
The model of the European Parliament will be endorsed to enable African women debate national and international laws; treaties and partnerships and their impact on Africa’s and the future of our children.
AWCOM Parliament will adopt EU Parliamentary committee working systems to scrutinize Policies and international treaties and agree best fit method of delivery.
The AWCOM will debate and agree continental position on issues of different understanding, expectations and agree a common African position
The Presidency of AWCOM would rotate between African countries as elected by the country’s women every year prior to the General Assembly.
The Regional Presidency would work within the regions of Africa in order to decentralise the workings of AWCOM to meet the necessity of our challenge.
Country Presidency would work within each country to entrench and direct the development of AWCOM appropriately.
Each Presidency would be supported by other members of an Executive arm and activities such the Secretary General, Secretary General Finance etc.
Administrative Organs & Projects:
To ensure effectiveness of the women’s intervention, AWCOM would work institute functions and projects sections covering different and appropriate areas:
1. Democracy, Good Governance and Transparency (DGGT):
This function would bring together experts to ensure that AWCOM is able to contribute to Africa’s democratisation, good governance and transparency as a way forward. Lobby African governments for create and improve opportunity for women to contribute to political and policy decision making towards achieving a sustainable political and socio-economic progress for Africa.
2. Policy Monitoring Group (PMG):
This function would bring together experts to inform AWCOM to contribute effectively to the policies at home and abroad. And to ensure that once agreed, every policy is implemented.
3. Health and Harmful Traditional Practices Monitoring
This would represent a very important aspect of AWCOM’S work given the poor level of health provision in most African countries today and the continuing harmful traditional practices such as female circumcision.
4. International Instrument Monitoring (IIM):
The aim of this function is to ensure that international instruments such as: UN Millennium Goals amongst others are implemented to meet the commitment signed for by African Governments and for the benefit of Africans, this organ would function to ensure that all IIFs are acted upon and duly evaluated.
African women through AWCOM will be empowered to contribute effectively to United Nations Peace and Developmental and gender equality Resolutions such as the UN Security Resolution on Millennium Development Goals (2000), Conflict Resolution 1325 and eliminations of all forms of Discriminations against women
5. Research Function (RF):
This function would be widely used to highlight and inform on the many issues that are the concerns of African women. The women’s research function would inform on the impact of policies and other functions in furtherance of our vision for Africa now and in the future.
To facilitate and promote effective communication with and engage African women to transform gender for Africa’s reformation, it is necessary to establish
7. Public Relations and Fund raising
Professionals would be run this function.
8. Economic Empowerment
As an emerging Africa’ civil society structure, AWCOM will work with international donors
to ensure that efforts to reduce poverty is adequately channelled to meet the needs of grass roots.
Head Office and International Visibility
Functioning in a united world, it is necessary for AWCOM to have its head office in New York in order to effectively align with the United Nations and the international community to better respond and input into world affairs both at the international level and in Africa.
The constitution and launch of AWCOM is the overall expected outcome of the African Women’s Convention being proposed to hold in Southern Africa in 2010, in that it would bring together African women from 30 countries to create a civil society version of the African Union. AWCOM will bring together representatives of African women to speak as a body thus representing constituted voice of civil African society.
For the first time, African women will be able to represent themselves in matters that affect them and the development of their Countries and Continent in their own rights as equal members of the world community. Right now, African women are seen mainly as victims of all that is horrific. Empowering African women in this way is the only viable and sustainable way of ending the abuses against women and girl children.
Standing together, African women will be empowered to stop the many abuses they have continued to suffer as they go about trying to survive in a harsh world and to provide for their children.
Political Leadership Training opportunity:
Through the rotating leadership of AWCOM African women will be able to train as leaders for Accountable political leadership for Africa’s governance.
- African Women Radio
- African Women Bank
Once established, AWCOM would pursue the above projects to ensure that African women get the information that they need to drive Africa’s recovery and the Financial instruction that would effectively support and provide for their economic contribution to poverty eradication in Africa.
In place of international Aid, AWCOM would build their capacity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the world.
It is desirable the AWCOM works with international Agencies and NGOs to utilize the opportunity they can provide to build the economic capacity of African women appropriately.
The AWCOM promises to become a major stabilising institution for Africa’s reform through economic, gender equalisation, education, infrastructure and mutually advantageous partnership force with the rest of the world.
The AWCOM represents a structured foundation for realising the DREAM and ASPIRATIONS of the peoples of the African Continent and in the Diaspora.
Alice Ukoko 25.11 2010
African Women Commission Arabic Version
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