Kwanele Foundation, a South African based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) advocating and standing against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, has submitted a Memorandum to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) demanding its intervention to help eradicate the scourge of GBV in Africa. The list of demands, formulated in the Memorandum presented by the Foundation’s CEO Silhe Sibisi, includes a call for the Pan-African Parliament to convene a Pan African Gender Based Violence Summit before the end of 2023.
The Memorandum further urged the Continental Parliament to play a more active role in addressing GBV matters. Receiving the Memorandum on behalf of the President of the Pan-African Parliament, Hon. Ango Ndoutoume, 4th Vice President, told members of Kwanele Foundation gathered outside the Seat of the Parliament in Midrand, that the Pan-African Parliament was precisely established to represent the African citizens and ensure that their concerns are taken into account. Hon. Ango further pledged to relay the Memorandum to the appropriate leadership structures of the Parliament for action.
The President of the Pan-African Parliament, H.E. Chief Fortune Charumbira has welcomed the proposal to hold a Summit as he reiterates the institution’s zero tolerance on GBV and all types of violence against Women. “We are determined to be part of the solution to contribute to the elimination of violence against women. This is in line with the mandate of the PAP to defend and promote gender equality, and protect human rights,” said H.E. Chief Charumbira.
As a reminder, every year, the PAP hosts a Women’s Conference to serve as a platform for the development of policies related to women’s rights. During this time, participants discuss progress made towards the implementation of gender-focused programmes, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, and other policies and activities undertaken by the AU. The PAP has also created the Women’s Caucus to provide oversight of the Parliament’s work on women’s rights and gender equality. It actively promotes state ratification and implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Women’s Rights in Africa (“Maputo Protocol”), which includes provisions on tackling gender-based violence.
In addition to the Annual Conference and work of the Women’s Caucus, the PAP also organises workshops and other meetings to focus on VAW-related issues that concern the region. For example, the PAP has organised several workshops on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – which resulted in the PAP’s overall commitment to ending FGM and various recommendations to the African Union to ensure states move towards fulfilling this commitment.