The African Union (AU) will hold it 26th Summit from 21st to the 31st January 2016, at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the Summit is: “2016: African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women.”
Meanwhile, the AU has reaffirmed its solidarity with the Sahawai people “in their struggle for self determination,” and congratulated the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic for smooth and peaceful Congress and elections.”
The Commission of the Africa Union (AUC) informed that its chairperson, Dr.Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, “congratulates the people of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) under the leadership of the Polisario Front for the successful convening of the 14th Polisario Front Congress held in Dakhla refugee camps.”
In a press release issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union also congratulates Mohamed Abdelaziz for his re-election as Secretary General of the Polisario Front, and President of SADR.
“The AUC chairperson also takes note that the 2,500 delegates representing Sahrawi people in the refugee camps, occupied territories and the Diaspora successfully elected the 29 members of the Polisario Front’s National Secretariat.”
She also encouraged the newly elected Sahrawi leadership to form “an inclusive government where youth and women play a prominent role within the spirit and principles of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR)as well as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).”
‘The African Union affirms its firm and principled solidarity with the people of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republicin their struggle for self-determination,” the AUC statement concludes.
African education experts gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the workshop on the capacity building on education and gender reiterated the urgent need for a gender sensitive teaching and learning environments on the African continent.*
During the three-day workshop [16th December 2015] organized by the International Centre for the Education of Girls and Women in Africa (AU/CIEFFA), a specialized institution of the African Union, participants discussed and strategized on how to establish strong education systems prioritizing gender realities.
Experts also reviewed and shared experiences on mainstreaming gender education in different African Union Member States.
They also formulated some recommendations to be taken into consideration in Africa.
Gender Friendly School Textbooks
Experts underlined that measures need be taken in order to have gender friendly school textbooks in African countries, the Commission of the African Union (AUC) reported.
In that regard, they urged AU Member States, among other things, to formulate, strengthen textbook policies by integrating the gender dimension, to train actors in charge of developing textbooks for them to factor in the gender dimension, to set up a monitoring mechanism for textbooks at all levels, as well as to define evaluation criteria for learning and teaching materials.
All the member states present confirmed that their teaching and learning resources would be revised following this workshop and would integrate gender-sensitive components, the African Commission said.
Gender Sensitive Classroom Practices
Participants further recommended that African countries should encourage gender sensitive classroom practices in order to address the issue of gender socialization in school.
The necessary actions, for that purpose, include training teachers, administrative and education staff on gender, facilitating gender responsive pedagogy through design of curriculum delivery guidelines, gender policy briefs to sensitize policy makers and programme implementers, development of regional gender policies and the reflection of gender education dimension in non-formal settings.
However, the implementation of all the proposed actions requires the establishment of effective partnerships for gender sensitive learning environment, the African Commission added.
“In order to ensure this, parents-teachers associations (PTA) and school management committees should be recognized as key actors in this process. Moreover, laws should be adopted at the national level to ensure gender-responsive budgeting on education.’
The Importance of Gender Dimension for Agenda 2063
Closing the workshop on behalf of Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, Acting Director for the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission, Dr. Rita Bissoonauth, Coordinator of the AU/CIEFFA, highlighted the importance of the consideration of the gender dimension in education for the achievement of Agenda 2063 aspirations.
She said that participants to the workshop will have a pivotal role to play, in collaboration with AU/CIEFFA, to ensure that the recommendations of the meeting are implemented in AU Member States.
“In addition, she encouraged them to work in collaboration with the Forum for African women educationalists, to carry out research on gender education and to set out gender working groups to foster a gender sensitive approach on education in Africa.”
Participants also underlined that Regional Economic Communities are key actors to ensuring that Member States revise their teaching and learning resources. In this regard, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States will organize a meeting in March 2016 for AU/CIEFFA focal points.
The International Centre for the Education of Girls and Women in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) is a specialized institution of the African Union since 2004, dealing with women and girls’ education following Decision Assembly/AU/DEC.44 (III).
One of its objectives is to build the operational capacities of Member States on girls and women’s education issues. It is also a UNESCO category 2 institute.
Read more HERE.
For any inquiry, please contact: Dr. Rita Bissoonauth | Coordinator | AU/CIEFFA | Tel: +251115517700 | Email: BissoonauthR@africa-union.org