Source: African Union  



The objective of the African Women’s Decade is to re-invigorate commitments to accelerated implementation of agreed global and regional commitments of gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE). Special focus will be on these ten themes:


  1. Fighting Poverty and Promoting Economic Empowerment of Women and Entrepreneurship

    1. Attain decent work for women and equal opportunity in employment, promotion and movement towards parity at the work place

    2. Create employment and services by supporting Women entrepreneurs particularly in informal sectors, including Small, Medium Enterprise (SME), Medium Enterprise (ME) and grow them to big businesses


  1. Agriculture and Food Security

    1. Achieving Food Security and Fighting Hunger

    2. Increased Women access to agricultural land, farm inputs, credit, technology, Extension services, Irrigation and access to water through water harvesting, boreholes, etc

    3. Link women to markets through value addition of their products including agro-based supply chain, creating new markets for their produce including organic food stuffs.


  1. Health, Maternal Mortality and HIV&AIDS

    1. Improve Women’s Health,

    2. Reduce Maternal Mortality

    3. Address HIV/AIDS

        1. Address HIV/AIDS inappropriate burden on Women and girls on infections, spread and increased workload, as well as unequal access to ARV’s, good nutrition and formal medical services.

  2. Education, Science and Technology

    1. Achieve Parity in Education at secondary and tertiary levels and achieve higher retention rates for girls

    2. Increased literacy levels of women through adult education

    3. Contribution of Women Scientists and Information, Communication and Technology


  1. Environment and Climate Change

Identify Women’s role in mitigating climate change, as custodians of the environment, making sure they benefit from the new global packages to fight climate change


  1. Peace and Security and Violence Against Women

Work with the African Union Peace and Security Department (PSD), The Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the Panel of the Wise in relation to United Nations Security Council Resolutions: 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889, with particular focus on Violence Against Women (VAW), peace building and reconstruction.


  1. Governance and Legal Protection

Jointly with Political Affairs, Women, Gender and Development Directorate will support women’s participation in political and electoral processes in countries undergoing elections during the decade as well as in the implementation of gender issues in African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), national action plans


  1. Finance and Gender Budgets

Increased Women access to financial resources from Government budgets through gender budgeting, financial markets targeting economic stimulus packages and specialized funds from development partners to support Women projects aimed at empowering women economically, and mobilize resources through FAWO as well as mobilizing resources for the implementation of Decade activities in general and priority areas in particular to achieve Decade targets


  1. Women In Decision Making position

Implement AU parity principle in line with AU gender policy and ensure targets for equal opportunity of Women in decision making positions, in the Political (Legislative), Judiciary and the Executive are achieved


  1. Young Women Movement

Energizing the African Women’s movement, and mentoring young women leaders and professionals, both in Africa and the Diaspora to be champions on Gender Equality and women’s empowerment.




  1. Sufficient resources for the programmes and activities that will be put in place for the Decade.

  2. Safeguarding the gains so far made by women.

  3. Funding for gender equality and women empowerment programmes, scaling up and ring fencing budgets for women programs from current economic crisis.

  4. Benchmarking mechanism to ensure the implementation of decisions taken regarding the Decade.

  5. Opportunity to linking up with the grassroots.

  6. Focusing on the implementation of all policy documents that have been adopted by Member States. Achieving targets arising out of AU Head of States commitments as well as at global level and ensure sustained political will.

  7. Working with development partners to complement what Africa wants to do.




A variety of programmes will be initiated in line with the AU Gender policy and the Gender Action Plan. The Fund for African Women will be a vehicle for mobilizing resources for the decade activities, under the AU’s Development Pillar in its 2009-2012 Strategic Plan.




In each Member state it is expected that national committees would be set up composed of all segments of the society. These Committees will propose one good practice Project for each theme per year. In this case one Project per country will be supported per theme per year from the AU Fund; as a result 53 projects will be supported for each of the 10 years, leading to 530 projects being supported during the Decade, under the AU Fund for Women. Projects to be supported are those already existing but requiring additional support to boost them for a year.




The Commission has established criteria for working committees to drive the activities of the Decade. These Committees will operate at three levels, The National, Regional and Continental.


  1. At the National Level: National committees will consist of ten members representing the ten themes of the decade.


  1. At the Regional level: A Ministerial Working Committee of 10 will work closely with the RECs. Each Region will choose its core UN Agencies.


  1. At the Continental/AU level: A Working group of 30 will be put in place composed of the one person per Region drawn from Member States, Pan African Parliament (PAP), Economic, Social and Cultural Council ( ECOSOCC), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Pan African Women Organization (PAWO), African Union Women’s Committee (AUWC) and Member States.


Additional Resources


Launch of African Women's Decade (2010-2020)
The Road Map Of The African Women's Decade 2010-2020

Walking The Talk - Gender Equality in The African Union
The Planning Meeting on The African Women's Decade at The Margins of The 54th Session of the CSW

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