From January 21-28, the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict led a delegation of 25 members from across Africa, led by Nobel Peace Laureate & Campaign co-Chair Jody Williams, to the Heads of State meeting at the 20th African Union Summit.
Ahead of the Summit, Campaign members from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Kenya, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, and South Africa took part in "Gender is My Agenda," organized by Advisory Committee Femmes Africa Solidarite and media and strategy training. Gender is My Agenda is a regular pre-summit consultative meeting to discuss opportunities for advocacy on gender issues within the upcoming Summit.
On the eve of the Summit, the Campaign organized a high-level ministerial panel, "Stopping Rape in Conflicts in Africa." Speakers at the event included the AU Commission's Director of Gender, Women and Development Directorate, Litha Musyimi-Ogana; UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura; and Campaign members: Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Marie Louise Baricako (Femmes Africa Solidarite), Pauline Kamau (Green Belt Movement), Bafana Khumalo (Sonke Gender Justice), Zainab El Sawi (Salmmah), Julienne Lusenge (SOFEPADI). The Campaign emphasized the need to prioritize tackling sexual violence as Heads of State were about to meet in the days ahead.
At the 20th African Union Summit, Jan 27-28, the Campaign attended the opening ceremony where incoming Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma emphasized the need to prioritize ending violence against women and gender equality. During the two days, the Campaign took to the halls and mobilized to make our voices heard among the media and political officials present!
Much of the Summit focused on recent surges in violence, including in Democratic Republic of Congo, the continuing border dispute between Sudan and South Sudan, and the recent war in Mali. As the Summit came to a close, we urged African leaders and African Union officials to take more efforts to stop rape in conflict on the continent.
Twitter Round-up: #AUstoprape, 1 February, 2013.
Tweet Transcript: High Level Panel Event at the African Union, 26 January 2013.