International Women’s Day, 2024 – ‘Invest in Women – Accelerate Progress’ taking into account prevention and response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region – Regional Training Facility (ICGLR-RTF) takes this opportunity to wish all women in the Great Lakes Region and the World in general a Happy International Women’s Day.

Why invest in women and girls?

Investigating in women and girls has capacity to accelerate progress, prevents Sexual and Gender Based Violence and increases the capacity of response mechanisms to effectively rehabilitate victims/survivours of SGBV via provision of the requisite medical, psychosocial, legal and socio-economic services.

Investing in Women tackles one of the most critical social and economic issues of our time: gender inequality; and has many benefits, for example, there is often a multiplier effect, as women will prioritize a good education for their children and share their knowledge with their communities.

Commitments made under various legal and policy instruments to advance women and girls rights including prevention and response to SGBV can be best achieved if there is greater equality between women and men and increased empowerment of women and girls.  The various instruments which support gender equality, increase empowerment of women and girls, and address SGBV include – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development; the African Union Agenda 2063; the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 2003 (Maputo Protocol); the ICGLR Pact on Security and Stability and Development, 2006; and national laws and policies

Call to Action

It is time to back commitments made under these various instruments with the requisite investment and resources in order to transform them into practical reality. Studies highlight that increased investments in four areas will have catalytic and multiplier effects.  These four areas are:

  • Ensure that financial assets are in the hands of women;
  • Keep girls in school
  • Improve access to reproductive health services
  • Support women’s leadership

It is essential to support economic, education, health, and leadership for women and girls in order to accelerate progress, prevent and respond to SGBV.  It’s time to act not just talk to:

  • Make public financial management systems work for women;
  • Confront and overcome the cultural and social norms that hold back women and girls;
  • Gather and share evidence on investment in women which has accelerated progress; and prevention and response to SGBV;
  • Collect and use sex-disaggregated data that allows for appropriate response.