Sixth GIMAC Strategic Engagement to be held on education, gender equity

The Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Network of the African Union (AU) is set to hold its sixth Strategic Engagement meeting with representatives of the AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and partners in Accra.

The Engagement slated for Saturday, July 13 to Monday, July 15, 2024, will be on the theme: ‘Educational Transformation for Gender Equity and Sustainability.’

The theme is in line with the AU theme: ‘Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa.’

A statement from GIMAC copied to the Ghana News Agency, explained that the engagement meeting was poised to convene key stakeholders in a pivotal discussion to advance educational transformation across Africa.

It would focus on fostering collaboration, developing strategic approaches, advocating policy reforms, and establishing monitoring mechanisms to track progress.

The meeting would also underscore the critical role of in
clusive education in achieving sustainable development and gender equity on the continent.

According to the statement, the meeting was expected to have a diverse group of participants including representatives of the AU bodies, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), civil society organisations, UN agencies, development partners, the private sector, academics, media and other stakeholders committed to promoting inclusive education.

At the end of the meeting, the sixth GIMAC Strategic engagement aims to produce actionable recommendations for mainstreaming gender in education and strengthen networks for advocating gender-responsive education policies.

It is also expected to enhance dialogue and partnerships among the GIMAC members and other stakeholders.

Outputs must also foster the holistic development of all learners throughout their lives, enabling them to realize their aspirations and contribute meaningfully to their families, communities, and societies.

To realize the ambitious vision of educational tra
nsformation, particular focus, it said, had been placed on areas such as increased funding – allocating 20 per cent of the national budget or a minimum of six per cent of GDP to education through gender-responsive budgeting, addressing existing disparities.

Another area to be tackled is universal free education, with a specific focus on guaranteeing free, high-quality education for all learners, including measures to retain girls in school, provide back-to-school programmes for pregnant teens, and eradicate child marriage.

The meeting would also provide a platform for participants to deliberate on the need to invest in digital education programmes with inclusivity in mind, ensuring equal access for all demographics with a focus on benefits for women and girls, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields.

The issues of implementing gender transformative pedagogy across all levels of education would also be raised, including dismantling cultural barriers, promoting gender equality, a
nd providing sexual and reproductive health education.

Representatives from the RECs include ECOWAS, the Southern African Development Community, the East African Community, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and from the UN agencies are the UN Women, UNECA, Office of High Commission on Human Rights, UNESCO, UNFPA, and UNAIDS.

Development partners to join the engagement meeting include ActionAid, Oxfam in Africa, Plan AULO, and Action Against Hunger, while research institutions such as the African Population and Health Research Center would also join the discussion.

The rest are women’s rights organisations outside of GIMAC Network and the private sector.

Comprising over 60 national and international organisations, the GIMAC Network aims to create a space for civil society to monitor the implementation of the solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, mainly holding bi-annual pre-summit consultative meetings to the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

It has offices in Ge
neva, Dakar and Addis Ababa.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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