Ending violence against women and girls requires urgent and tangible investments
October 11, 2023
Nairobi, 3 October 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) conducted a three-day regional Training of Trainers (ToT) titled Development and Implementation of Action Plans and Increased Financing on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) and Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRH&RR). The workshop was organized under the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP) framework and was held from 3 to 5 October 2023.
The training aimed to enhance the capacity of regional partners and civil society organizations (CSOs) on the development and implementation of action plans and increased financing on EVAWG and SRH&RR through several sessions and modules to help member states dedicate parts of their national budget allocation and ensure sustainable funding to support such activities.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) remains a prevailing issue globally and is particularly pronounced in Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns led to a surge in reported cases of intimate partner violence across the continent. While Member States have made strides in developing and implementing national action plans, including financing and investments to EVAWG, significant room remains for improvement. For instance, 30 countries have developed national action plans to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Still, only half of these countries have allocated detailed budgets for their initiatives.
Victoria Maloka, Head of Coordination & Outreach at the AUC Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, underscored that "VAWG is an ongoing crisis, a shadow pandemic in the face of conflicts, COVID-19 and climate change. However, financing towards ending it remains very low." She added, "Strong collective and individual actions are urgently needed, and targeted financing towards its elimination is necessary."
Strong collective and individual actions are urgently needed, and targeted financing towards its elimination is necessaryVictoria Maloka, Head of Coordination & Outreach at the AUC Women, Gender and Youth Directorate
As such, the ToT covered various topics to equip participants with the skills needed to address these challenges. The sessions offered essential background information to increase awareness and deepen participants' knowledge of international and regional legal frameworks. It also aimed at facilitating planning and priority setting. In addition, the programme offered firsthand insights into developing and implementing national action plans on EVAWG and SRH&RR, with modules focused on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) and advocacy to increase financing for the above areas.
"This ToT Workshop is an opportunity to better understand concepts and experiences related to developing and implementing action plans and increasing financing on EVAWG and SRH&RR. It is a platform to explore the best ways to influence, advocate, popularize and monitor Member States to translate their commitments into action through increased investment in EVAWG and SRH&RR," remarked Cleopatra Hurungo, OIC Gender Team Leader at UNDP.
We believe in transformational leadership. We are, therefore, not waiting for young people to be the leaders in the future. We are meaningfully engaging them to be part of the future nowMemory Kachambwa, Executive Director of FEMNET
The Facilitator's Training Manual, which guided this training, was developed based on input from relevant stakeholders, whose views were gathered through capacity needs assessment. Furthermore, it will serve as a resource guide and training tool to enhance the capacity of the AUC, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Pan African Parliament, the Network of African Parliamentarians, and CSOs to engage and influence Member States on the development and implementation of action plans and increased financing for EVAWG.
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