Assembly/AU/Decl.12 (III) Rev.1 Page 1 SOLEMN DECLARATION ON GENDER EQUALITY IN AFRICA We, the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the African Union, meeting in the Third Ordinary Session of our Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 6-8 July 2004: Reaffirming our commitment to the principle of gender equality as enshrined in Article 4 (l) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as well as other existing commitments, principles, goals and actions set out in the various regional, continental and international instruments on human and women’s rights, including the Dakar Platform for Action (1994), the Beijing Platform for Action (1995), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW - 1979), the African Plan of Action to Accelerate the Implementation of the Dakar and Beijing Platforms for Action for the Advancement of Women (1999); the Outcome Document of the Twenty-third Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (2000); UN Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security; and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003); Standing by our Decision on gender parity taken at the Inaugural Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa implemented during the Second Ordinary Session of the Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, 2003 through the election of five female and five male Commissioners; Noting with satisfaction that our Decision on gender parity is a historic achievement that does not yet exist in any other continent or regional organizations; Re-affirming our commitment to continue, expand and accelerate efforts to promote gender equality at all levels; Determined to build on the progress that we have achieved in addressing issues of major concern to the women of Africa; Taking cognizance of the landmark decision to adopt the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa during the Second Ordinary Session of the Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, 2003; Noting the decision of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to transform the African Women’s Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD) into the African Union Women’s Committee (AUWC), which will be located in the Gender Directorate and serve as an Advisory Body to the Chairperson on Gender and Development; Recognizing that major challenges and obstacles to gender equality still remain and require concerted and collective leadership and efforts from all of us including networks working on gender and development;

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