On 3rd and 4th May 2017, various stakeholders on Gender Equality in the East African Community and beyond converged in Kampala, Uganda to witness the launch of the 1st ever Gender Barometer and also discuss the findings under the theme “Who Answers to Women? Taking stock of implementation of Gender Equality Commitments in East Africa”. It was launched by The Director for Gender and Community Development – Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Sanyu Jane Mpagi. In answering the question, “who answers to women?” Ms. Sanyu Jane Mpagi underscored the need for all stakeholders; Government, CSO, and the private sector to work together to realize gender equality and making women legitimate members of all accountability processes.
The EAC Gender Barometer is a researched report from the 5 partner states. It contains information and statistical data from the different areas that need to be gender balanced for example the Education system, health, power in decision making, economic empowerment, land rights, trade, peace and security and many others. The Barometer provides quality evidence based data on gender equality that will help in holding the governments accountable on gender and development. Focal point organizations from the five EAC partner states spearheaded the collecting of the data in the various states. These include National Association of Women’s Organisation in Uganda (NAWOU), Women’s Rights Awareness Programme (WRAP) – Kenya, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), Profemme Twese Hamwe- Rwanda and Collectif des Associations et ONGs Feminines du Burundi (CAFOB).
Country data was then verified through National validation meetings in the five countries. The validated country reports were then consolidated into one regional report-the EAC Gender Barometer by a team of gender specialist from Makerere University led by Prof. Josephine Ahikire. The process of compiling the EAC Gender Barometer was supported by SIDA. With support from the Common Wealth Foundation, the EAC Gender Barometer was then launched during a Regional Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue. The main objective of the two days’ dialogue was to bring together Government representatives, national and regional civil society and women’s organizations, individual women’s rights advocates, the academia and the media to discuss the findings of the EAC Gender Barometer and come up with targeted recommendations aimed at ensuring the realization of gender equality in the EAC. It was also aimed at taking stock of the achievements of the women in the 5 partner states of East Africa.
Since the Treaty for the EAC came into force in 2000, (17 years to date), there has not been a credible citizen’s scorecard to monitor its implementation and especially the promises made in the Treaty through the various Articles that speak to women’s rights. This multi-stakeholder dialogue addressed the absence of citizen participation and the need to monitor implementation of the EAC Treaty Articles on women’s rights as well as the regional and international women’s rights instruments acceded to by the EAC Partner States, including the Beijing Platforms for Action, CEDAW and the Maputo Protocol order to hold these governments to account and catalyze positive action on women’s rights. Read the full report on the Regional Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue and Launch of the EAC Gender Barometer in the EASSI Publications Library.