African Union chair vows to fight discrimination against women


Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat delivers a joint press conference with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy after their meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 15, 2017.

MIDRAND - The African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat vowed to fight sexual discrimination against women and called for the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to be given full legislative powers to help address the problems facing the continent.

Mahamat made his comments at a press conference, and as PAP&39;s guest of honour, following the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ordinary Session of PAP’s Fourth Parliament in Midrand on Monday.

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One of the problems facing the AU is that member states have failed to ratify many of the instruments adopted by the continental organisation, according to the chairperson. “Words have to be turned into actions," said Mahamat.

The issue of peace and security was something that also needed to be addressed even though there had been an improvement in the security situation in Africa.

"In some parts of Africa, there remain challenges in regard to terrorism and human trafficking. Stability through good governance and human rights are linked to these issues which in turn are contingent on empowering women, youth and civil society because these unresolved issues are the root causes of the problems facing Africa," he said.

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Mahamat then went on to challenge media reports that there was some kind of "apartheid" against women on the continent and that the AU had done insufficient to address this issue.

"The AU has been built on gender equality and during my appointment, I&39;ve appointed more women than men into important positions and this was not because I was doing women a favour but because of their natural abilities and the important roles they perform in society it was natural to appoint them.

"I&39;m committed to getting rid of gender discrimination and sanctions will be imposed on anybody or person we find discriminating against women," the AUC head said.