As the regional arm of the United Nations in Africa, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 Member States, foster regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. The African Centre for Gender and Development, a Division of ECA, is mandated to orient the policies of the ECA into areas concerning gender equality and to advise the ECA on the implementation of appropriate strategies for the economic and social advancement of women in Africa.
ECA’s mandate and policy framework on violence against women derives from the Dakar Platform for Action (1994) and the outcome and way forward-document of the Seventh African Regional Conference on women (2004). Its policy framework is also rooted in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its Additional Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.
ECA through the African Centre for Gender and Development undertakes policy development and research activities, as well as operational activities and awareness-raising activities in relation to violence against women.
In October 2011, in collaboration with Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) and the Togolese Ministry of Women Affairs, the ECA organized a Regional Stakeholders’ Meeting in Togo on “Women’s Access to Legal and Judicial Services”, which focused on access to justice for women victims of violence including in conflict settings, and on the need for a multisectoral response to victims through the provision of legal, medical and psychosocial support services.Hide
As a member of the “Gender is my agenda campaign” (GIMAC), the ECA co-hosted the 19th Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting, in partnership with Femmes Afrique Solidarité and The Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice, in January 2012. Participants recognized the need to intensify measures to end violence against women and girls, especially in the areas of sexual violence in conflict.Hide
ECA collaborated in the organization of a seminar by the African Union Commission, held in April 2008 in Addis Ababa, to commemorate the fourteenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, on the theme “Ending violence against women in conflict situations: lessons drawn from the Rwandan Genocide”.Hide
In February 2008, the Economic Commission for Africa organized a high-level policy dialogue in Addis Ababa on national implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) in Africa, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women.Hide
The ECA organized a sub-regional workshop in Morocco in March 2011 on the CEDAW Convention which focused on the removal of reservations and the ratification of the CEDAW Optional Protocol in North Africa. Violence against women was one of the key issues deliberated upon.Hide
In October 2011, the ECA organized jointly with Mentoring and Empowerment Programme for Young Women (MEMPROW) a sub-regional advocacy workshop in Zambia on violence against young women and girls in centers of learning. The workshop identified issues affecting girls’ performance and retention in the context of VAW and made recommendations to improve policy and practice.Hide
As a member of the “Gender is my agenda campaign” (GIMAC), ECA participated in the 13th Pre-Summit African Union Heads of State Consultative Meeting on gender mainstreaming where participants recognized the need to intensify measures in response to the Secretary-General’s campaign “UNiTE to end violence against women”.Hide
ECA produced a synthesis report of studies conducted in Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia which provides an overview of violence against women (VAW) in each country, the scale and prevalence of different forms of VAW, its causes and consequences. It also identifies gaps in knowledge and data collection and gives particular attention to good practices in addressing VAW.Hide
The African Women’s Rights Observatory (AWRO), launched by the ECA in 2007, was presented at the 7th session of the Committee on Women and Development (CWD), held in May, 2011. The 44 member states present during the session commended the initiative and moreover, have committed to appoint focal persons in order to provide data on a timely basis.Hide
The ECA Series of Meetings on Gender Statistics held in Ghana in November 2011 followed the workshop and included a session on the role of statistical data and indicators to inform policy and actions to prevent, sanction and eradicate violence against women.Hide