January 3, 2015

Addis Ababa Declaration on Accelerating the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

Towards a transformational change for women and girls in Africa

We, the African Ministers responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs, attending the Ninth African Regional Conference on Women for the twenty-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, held in Addis Ababa on 19 November 2014, organized by the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), agencies of the United Nations and other partners,

Reaffirming our commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action and the importance of the objectives, principles and goals contained therein, and to scaling up and accelerating their implementation,

Recalling the outcomes of the previous African regional reviews of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,

Welcoming the decision of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union to declare 2010-2020 as the African Women’s Decade and the year 2015 as the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Realizing Africa’s Agenda 2063,

Appreciating the leadership of our Heads of State and Government in coming up with the common African position on the post-2015 development agenda,

Commending the progress that has been made in the development and implementation of global, regional and national development frameworks, and the introduction of policies towards gender equality and women’s empowerment,

 Taking note with concern the uneven progress made on achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment and the challenges that African countries continue to face in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action,

 Concerned that new challenges and emerging issues are arising, such as climate change, conflicts, HIV/AIDS, epidemics, human trafficking, child labour, religious extremism, terrorism, global economic and financial crises and increasing inequality, which threaten to set back progress made so far towards gender equality and the advancement of women and girls across the continent,

Expressing our full solidarity and support to countries affected by the spread of the Ebola virus and commending the efforts of Governments, the African Union Commission, the United Nations, the public, development partners and non-governmental organizations to combat the epidemic,

Concerned about the impact and burden of the epidemic, especially for women and children,

 Taking note of Africa’s positive development landscape and the ambitiousness of the continent’s structural transformation agenda, as spelled out in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which has the potential to scale up investments for the advancement of women and gender equality,

 Emphasizing the strong positive correlations between gender equality, women’s empowerment and Africa’s sustainable development,

 Acknowledging and appreciating the participation and contribution of non-governmental organizations and women’s organizations to the Ninth African Regional Conference on Women (Beijing+20) and taking note of the outcomes of their consultative meetings,

Acknowledging the importance of establishing partnerships and strategic alliances with all stakeholders, such as ministries of finance and economic planning and other line ministries, civil society organizations, cultural institutions, the private sector, trade unions, community and religious leaders, research and academic institutions, local government, the media and the international community, to achieve gender equality,

Recognizing that social protection is an important emerging development strategy for inclusive and equitable development for all, including women,

Call to action to achieve gender equality and women’s and girl’s empowerment, as spelled out in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, by 2030.

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