UN Women Executive Director urges investing in gender equality during mission to Rwanda

Date : 21 May 2014

Kigali

At the African Development Bank Annual Meetings – “The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want” – UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has called upon African leaders to make women co-drivers and benefactors of Africa’s inspiring Vision 2063 for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka is in Rwanda to attend the African Development Bank Annual Meetings and to introduce the gender dividend to key financial institutions and policymakers. During her visit she met with the H.E President of the Republic of Rwanda, ministers and officials of other government institutions, civil society organizations and regional African institutions.

The discussions focused largely on; agriculture, inclusive financing, leadership and political will and resolve to address the issue of gender equality, including quality of primary and secondary education and the importance of gender-responsive legislation. UN Women and the African Development Bank are currently exploring avenues to strengthen their partnership in this area.

On 21 May, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka participated in a panel on: “Investing in Gender Equality for Africa’s transformation”, where she called for a change in the narrative on African women who are often depicted as victims instead of contributors to the development of the continent. The empowerment of women does not only have a positive impact on individual women, but on the wider society at large. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka sees the role of leaders as creating a conducive environment that fosters inclusive growth and the empowerment of women. She states: “It is in our hands to make the change.”

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka further asked the Heads of State, in light of the post-2015 agenda, to set firm deadlines to ensure that legislations are achieving the empowerment of women and gender equality, rather than hindering it.