All Africa Council of Churches Message for the 2010 International Women’s Day
THEME: “EQUAL RIGHTS, EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES: PROGRESS FOR ALL”
Theme: Equal Rights, Equaal Opportunities: Progress for All
History puts the first celebrations of the International Women’s Day back to the early 1900’s. However, it was only in 1977 that the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. This day is now celebrated through out the World every 8th of March, as the International Women’s Day. This day is set aside to recognize the fact that securing peace, progress, full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active and equal participation of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.
However, for women in Africa, the symbolism of International Women’s Day has a wider meaning: It is an occasion for them to stock take in the journey they have made in their struggle towards survival, equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity for them to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change of their situation and the development of their continent.
As a way of celebrating this year International Women’s Day under the theme: Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All, we would like to pause in the middle of the pressures and challenges of our continent to celebrate African Women for their spirit of resilience, healing and wholeness alongside their wonderful achievements in different areas such as family and social cohesion, Peace Building, Science and Education. For social accompaniment of those in need, Trauma Healing, Fight against Gender‐Based Violence and HIV/AIDS… the list goes on and on and on.
Indeed, there are several ways for a lasting progress for all but it is universally accepted that equal rights and equal opportunities are the only ways for sustainable development and progress for both women and men. No girl child should be denied access to education because she was born a girl neither should any woman not be allowed to express her views just because she is a woman. It is only within an environment of equal rights and equal opportunities that the energies and strengths of women can be harnessed for the betterment of our continent. Never before has Africa needed the contribution of women in its fight against poverty, wars and conflicts than today.
This year’s Celebrations are unique as they are giving women across the globe the opportunity to take stock of their achievements 15 years after the Beijing Platform. The Commission for the Status of Women during its meeting from March 1st to 12th, 2010 will review the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. It will also emphasize on the sharing of experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming the remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
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ALL AFRICA CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES
CONFERENCE DES EGLISES DE TOUTE L’AFRIQUE
PRESIDENT: The Most Rev. Valentine Mokiwa GENERAL SECRETARY: Rev. Dr. André Karamaga
We commend the role played by the Church in Africa towards the empowerment of women and girls in the continent. It is our sincere hope that the Church will continue journeying with women of Africa and ensure that their rights are jealously protected and that equal opportunities are availed to them for progress of society.
May the Lord Himself strengthen us in our quest for equality and justice for the life bearers and nurturers!
AACC Women and Migration Programme