Its Time to Boost Investments to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Nairobi, Kenya, October 3rd, 2023 –The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) today opened three days regional Training of Trainers on the Development and Implementation of Action Plans and Increased Financing on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) and Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRH&RR). The workshop is being organized under the framework of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP) for Africa, which was held from 3rd to 5th of October 2023.
The aim of the training is to enhance the capacity of regional partners and civil society organisations on the Development and Implementation of Action Plans and Increased Financing on EVAWG and SRH&RR. In order to achieve this, the training involved several sessions and modules that aimed to help member states dedicate parts of their national budget allocation and ensure sustainable financing to support EVAWG and SRH&RR activities.
Violence against women (VAWG) remains a prevailing issue globally and is particularly pronounced in Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns led to a surge in reported cases of intimate partner violence across the continent. While Member States have made strides in developing and implementing National Action Plans, including financing and investments to combat violence against women and girls, there remains significant room for improvement. For instance, 30 countries have developed National Action Plans to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which advocates for the protection of women and girls from violence, but only half of these countries have allocated and detailed budgets for their initiatives.
Victoria Maloka, Head of Coordination and Outreach at the African Union Commission Women, Gender and Youth Directorate underscored that “Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an ongoing crisis, a shadow pandemic in the face of Conflicts, COVID-19 and Climate Change. However, financing towards ending it still remains very low.” She stressed that “strong collective and individual actions are urgently needed, and targeted financing towards its elimination is a necessity.”
As such, the training covered an array of topics to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding to tackle these challenges. The sessions provided crucial background to increase awareness, deepen their understanding of international and regional legal frameworks, and facilitated planning and priority setting. In addition, modules and interactive activities gave participants first-hand insights on how to develop and implement national action plans on EVAWG and SRH&RR. The training also provided further insights on how to accelerate investment in EVAWG, with modules focused on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) and how to advocate to increase financing for EVAWG and SRH&RR.
“This ToT Workshop will be an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of concepts and experiences related to the development and implementation of Action Plans and increase financing on EVAWG and SRH&RR. It will be also a platform to explore the best ways to influence, advocate, popularize, and monitor Member States to translate their commitments into action through increased investment in EVAWG and SRH&RR,” remarked Cleopatra Hurungo, OIC Gender Team Leader at UNDP.
Memory Kachambwa, Executive Director of FEMNET spoke on the importance of engaging youth in efforts to increase investment in EVAWG. “We believe in transformational leadership. We are therefore not waiting for young people to be the leaders in the future, we are meaningfully engaging them to be part of the future now.”
The Facilitator’s Training Manual will guide the ToT workshop. The Manual was developed based on the input from relevant stakeholders, whose views were gathered through capacity needs assessment. The Manual will serve as a resource guide and training tool to enhance the capacity of the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Pan African Parliament, the Network of African Parliamentarians, and CSOs to engage and influence the Member States on the development and implementation of Action Plans and increased financing for EVAWG.
The ToT workshop is guided by the Facilitator’s Training Manual, which serves as a resource guide and training tool to enhance participants’ capacity to advocate, promote, influence, and understand in relation to the development and implementation of national action plans and increased financing on EVAWG. The development of the manual was based on the input from relevant stakeholders, whose views were gathered through capacity needs assessment. The Manual will serve as a resource guide and training tool to enhance the capacity of the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Pan African Parliament, the Network of African Parliamentarians, and CSOs to engage and influence the Member States on the development and implementation of Action Plans and increased financing for EVAWG.
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