Politics

Africa: Commonwealth Delegates Root for Greater Women Inclusivity


There is a need for increased resources to strengthen gender equality and women’s empowerment in all spheres, as well as link economic empowerment with access to quality education for all, including financial education and literacy for older women.

Arjoon Suddhoo, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, shared this as part of the recommendations from the just-concluded Commonwealth Women Forum.

Women across the Commonwealth gathered for a two-day meeting which included discussions on women and girls’ challenges and rights.

The recommendations are expected to be formalised and provided to Foreign Affairs Ministers ahead of the meeting of the Heads of Government at the end of this week.

Delegates called for collaboration among governments, businesses, and local leaders to address discrimination against older women, and provision of platforms for intergenerational dialogue not only to recognise the role older people play in society, but to also enable the transfer of skills from older women to younger ones.

Moreover, there is also a need for accountability mechanisms to take into account the intersectionality of women with disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and age.

“If these mechanisms are not inclusive, we will undoubtedly leave people behind,” he said.

Other recommendations included the need to address violence against women.

Listening to survivors’ voices and needs, including designing and implementing initiatives, which engage men and boys, is of fundamental importance in efforts to end violence.