Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
Celebrating Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Work in Africa
20 years ago, 189 countries adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a visionary roadmap for women’s rights and empowerment. Much has been achieved since then, but much more needs to be done and can be done, a world in which gender equality is a reality.
‘We Matter Too’ is AU Watch’s gender-based policy, advocacy, research, think-and-do tank on and about the African woman. ‘We Matter Too’ monitors the AU gender institutions by the standard of the Constitutive Act and the standards of the legal instruments of its various institutions. It challenges and holds to account the AU and States Parties to the Constitutive Act to live up to those standards and ideals on gender they have set for themselves. It serves as a promoting, mobilizing, networking, information, advocacy and training platform for African women by building their knowledge, skills, leadership capacities to influence policy and decision making at both the AU, its institutions and its Members. ‘We Matter Too’ leads, guides, and coordinates AU Watch’s efforts on gender equality and development in the continent. The program promotes women’s empowerment by promoting the AU’s Agenda 2063 vision, and by advocating and campaigning that AU Member States comply with the AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA). ‘We Matter Too’ works to strengthen the voice, impact and influence of African women’s rights advocates and organizations.
‘We Matter Too’ works with grassroot African women and leaders in the continent to advance women and girls’ human right to achieve the AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, and to live free from violence through legal reform and institutional and social change.
‘We Matter Too’ is a leading voice in the regional movement to end violence against women and girls. ‘We Matter Too’ envisions an Africa that builds international partnerships that advance laws, values, and practices to create communities where gender equality is a reality and where all women and girls live free from violence and threats of violence.
We carry our work guided by:
• A commitment to all women’s right to equality and offender accountability for violence.
• Ubuntu: We serve women living in extreme poverty with respect, empathy and dignity regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or education level, and value our common humanity.
• Partnering and collaborating globally with organizations and communities to examine the practices and policies of social and governmental agencies that intervene in the lives of women and girls
• The belief the violence against women and girls is an act of discrimination and a tool to subjugate women interrelated with multiple institutions of oppression such as racism, classism, and sexism
• A sustained commitment to justice by helping to shape and implement laws to effectively prevent and respond to violence against women and girls
Training & Capacity Building
We build capacity through the technical assistance that we provide to our partners on the ground. Our goal is to ensure that every African woman and girl is able to participate in the objectives of Agenda 2063.We provide an array of customized trainings on Agenda 2063 and the role of the African woman. We engage the AU, its Recs and other bodies, governments, the private sector, civil society and its dynamic membership in open debate and confidential discussions on the status of women in the continent. That also means having a strong voice in all governance institutions, from the judiciary to the civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so that they can participate fully and equally in public dialogue and in making the decisions that will determine the future of their families, communities and countries.
In conjunction with AU Watch Institute for the Study of the AU, we design and develop curricula and teaching materials on issues relating to the rights of women in Africa for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, military and police academies and technical and vocational schools.
We partner with government agriculture extension workers on to introduce new farming techniques on demonstration plots, training local masons to maintain household latrines, educating leaders to stress the importance of continued entrepreneurial training, equipping local institutions to deliver successful vocational training, empowering women to teach their sisters and mothers improved food preparation techniques, and the list goes on. Our goal is to support communities in achieving self-reliance, because then and only then, can they achieve prosperity on their own terms.
The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1-5 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2015, focusing on basic human rights issues long enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and subsequent African Union legal instruments, and Goal 16 of the SDG acknowledges that rights are empty unless citizens can participate in decisions affecting them and can enforce their rights through an accessible system of justice. That is the vision of the AU itself: “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”.
As a regional leader in fighting to gender equality and ending violence against women and girls in Africa through legal and systems reform, we build capacity of local advocacy effort, draft laws, conduct transformational training of legal professionals charged with enforcing the laws and monitoring implementation of laws, policies and practices
We Provide Information
We provide information, resources and guidance to women’s organisations, grassroots movements and activists working on the ground to empower women and girls. We are committed to advancing the wider understanding of what the AU, its RECs, institutions and programs are doing to promote and protect the rights of women in the continent.
Through our comprehensive communication, media, outreach and education programs and activities, we seek to raise awareness, disseminate and expand information and understanding of how the AU and its Members oversee the development and harmonization of gender policies in all their activities.
We monitor the AU gender institutions by the standard of the Constitutive Act, challenging and holding to account the AU and States Parties to live up to those standards and ideals on gender they have set for themselves. We, thus, provide the average African woman with a platform for shared empowerment, learning and creating linkages to build and establish female leaders in Africa. Through monitoring the participation and representation of women in regional, national and local politics, we produce multiple reports which audit the status and condition of women in each African country.
We educate, empower and give voice to young girls. Working with girls, women, boys and men, we strive to strengthen gender equality in the continent.Together with other, like-minded NGOs we develop advocacy activities that echo the 2063 Agenda. Our goal is to promote and defend equality and inclusion for all women and girls in Africa.
We carry out independent and rigorous analysis of critical regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities that affect women in Africa. Our aim is to achieve award-winning (news and broadcast) reports, papers, books and other research outputs that will be vital resources for leaders and policy-makers in government, the private sector, and civil society.