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Press Release on the passing of the EAC Gender Bill/Act


Press Release on the passing of the EAC Gender Bill/Act

FINALLY, THE EAC GENDER EQUALITY AND DEVELOPMENT ACT IS PASSED ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, 2017 AS THE BEST GIFT TO EAC CITIZENS!

The Eastern African Sub Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) cordially thanks the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for their demonstrated commitment to gender equality by passing THE EAST AFRICAN GENDER EQUALITY AND DEVELOPMENT ACT on International Women’s Day, 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Since 2008, EASSI in partnership with women rights’ alliances in the 5 Partners states has been campaigning for an East African Gender Equality Protocol. This later changed into a bill which was tabled at East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) as a Private Members Bill by Hon. Nancy Abisai. The overall purpose of the EAC Gender and Development Act is to advance Gender Equality across the 5 EAC Partner states in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres, for the benefit of women and men by consolidating into one legally binding document, the various human rights instruments to which the EAC partner states are party or signatory at the continental and International levels. (The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, CEDAW, the protocol to the African charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the rights of women in Africa and the Recent Sustainable Development Goals especially Goal 1 and 5)

This campaign was inspired by a similar campaign in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) waged by the women’s movement in Southern Africa for a SADC Gender

The EAC Gender Act harmonizes national laws of the EAC Member States with regional and international standards of protection and promotion of gender and human rights, promote non-discrimination and gender equality in the processes of good governance for strengthened regional integration and sustainable development of the Community.

The EAC Gender Equality and Development Act focuses on these 13 critical areas;

  1. Legal and State Obligations to Protect Human Rights.
  2. Media.
  3. Education.
  4. Health.
  5. Power and Decision Making.
  6. Economic Empowerment.
  7. Agriculture and Food Security
  8. Land Rights.
  9. Trade.
  10. Peace and Security.
  11. Climate Change and Environmental Management.
  12. Extractive Industries.
  13. Marginalized Groups

 Note: Please see an abridged version of the Act attached.

To fast track implementation of the EAC Gender Act, EASSI has already produced a pilot EAC Gender Barometer, based on the 13 articles of the Gender bill and will include Citizens Perceptions. It will be launched in May this year and will be updated annually for the subsequent years. Having a Gender Barometer therefore is a critical tool for not only enhancing citizen’s participation in governance processes through critical information but also a tool for holding governments accountable to their gender commitments.

Members of the media, Please join us to amplify our voices in;

  1. Thanking EALA for passing the EAC Gender Equality and Development Act
  2. Appreciating Hon.Nancy Abisai for championing the Act as a private members’ bill at EALA
  3. Calling upon the EAC Partner states to fast track the assent and later implementation of the Act
  4. Civil Society to embrace the Act and create mass awareness among the EAC Citizenry to demand for implementation of the Act

For details of the newly passed EAC Gender Equality and Development Act, please visit http://www.eassi.org and our social media pages Twitter: @eassigender Facebook: Eassi Eastern Africa.

………………………….                                                        ………………………..

Dr. Christine Mbonyingingo                                       Marren Akatsa-Bukachi

Chairperson,                                                              Executive Director

EASSI Board of Directors                                           EASSI

In partnership with:  

With the kind support of:

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Copyright: EASSI 2016