African women leaders launch equality drive

UN Women/Ryan Brown
February 18, 2023

Almost 400 women leaders from across 15 African countries participated in last week’s three day conference on Women’s Transformational Leadership.  

The conference, which was backed by the UN, opened on Tues 14 February in Juba, South Sudan. Amongst participants were current and former presidents. The aim was to advance progress, tackle pressing concerns and find sustainable solutions to issues affecting women and girls in South Sudan and across Africa.

The theme of the conference was GuwaTaMara which refers to the strength of women; speakers agreed that challenges continue in the areas of climate change, economic empowerment, leadership and governance, and violence against women and girls.

UN Deputy Special Representative Sara Beysolow Nyanti said the resilience and determination of South Sudanese women was an inspiration.

“It is my hope that South Sudan will transform to peace with women at the forefront,” she said, adding that without their full and equal participation and leadership, South Sudan will not move forward in its journey from conflict to peace and development.

In a video statement, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said although women’s participation in African parliaments has doubled in the last decades, there is still more to do.

“We need to build a movement for transformational leadership, and South Sudan is a good place to start,” she said, pledging continued UN support for South Sudan in its ongoing efforts and further achievements.

A new multimedia photo exhibition “In Their Hands” opened at the conference, shining a light on women taking ownership of peace. This multimedia installation displays the work of women photographers – their work and their stories.  It has been supported by UN’s Departments for Peace Operations, and Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, together with UN Women, and in partnership with Photoville.

For more details of the conference please see: Equality drive launched by African women leaders at landmark conference | UN News

The photo exhibition “In Their Hands” is at: In Their Hands |United Nations

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