Conference on the situation of women in Africa

On October 8th and 9th, women from all over Africa discussed issues affecting women in Africa at a conference on “Women and the Transformation of the African Continent” held in Johannesburg by the Pan African Parliament, a body of the African Union.

Among the topics addressed were issues such as the continuously high maternal and child mortality rates in Africa and female genital mutilation.

Reducing maternal mortality is one of the Millennium Development Goals, but most African states are still well behind target. “Some governments have created policies to deal with this matter. Policies are great but if no funding is allocated they will be pointless”, said Vicki Okine from the Fairplay for Africa Campaign that fights for fair access to health care.

The parliamentarians at the Pan African Parliament reconfirmed their commitment to ending the practice of FGM throughout Africa. The Deputy speaker of the Ugandan Parliament Rebecca Kadaga spoke about measures taken against FGM in Uganda. The strict laws concerning this practice in place in Uganda were applauded by the participants.

Other topics discussed during the conference were poverty, human trafficking, HIV and poor education.

Via Waris Dirie