Spain has sponsored a Political Declaration by G-5 countries on women in the Sahel region. The main aim of the Political Declaration on Women in the Sahel is to renew efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in relation to number 5 – achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
The Political Declaration on Women in the Sahel was signed by the Ministers for the Family and Women of Mali, Traoré Oumou Touré; of Mauritania, Maimouna Taghi; of Niger, Elback Zeinabou Tari Bako, and of Chad, Kade Elisabeth, on Tuesday morning at Casa África [Africa House]. This declaration was sponsored by the Government of Spain, which endorsed it in the presence of the Government Delegate in the Canary Islands, Mercedes Roldós.
The effective inclusion of women in peace and security processes, increasing the participation of women at all levels of society and the fight against discrimination, gender-based violence embodied in such practices as female genital mutilation, young marriage, economic and healthcare exclusion and illiteracy are all contained in this document, which reaffirms the commitment of the G-5 Sahel countries to African development through support for women.
On Tuesday morning, Casa África hosted a working day designed within the framework of the International Meeting on Women in the Sahel, which gathered together the four ministers responsible for the portfolio of women’s affairs in Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania (Burkina Faso was unable to attend but guaranteed its support for the initiative), which was inaugurated by the State Secretary for Social Services and Equality, Mario Garcés. The event was also attended by the Director-General for Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Raimundo Robredo; the High Representative of the European Union for the Sahel, Ángel Losada; the Spanish Ambassador on Special Mission for the Sahel, Antonio Torres-Dulce; the Vice-Councillor for Foreign Action of the Regional Government of the Canary Islands, Luis Padilla; the Director of the Women’s Institute, Lucía del Carmen Cerón, and the Director-General of Casa África, Luis Padrón.
The meeting was also attended by Cristina Díaz Fernández-Gil, Director of Cooperation with Africa and Asia of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID), and, on behalf of civil society, by the former Vice-President of the Government and President of the Women for Africa Foundation, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega; and the Coordinator for International Cooperation of the Entreculturas Foundation, Pablo Funes.
As well as confirming the commitment by the G-5 Sahel to the goals of the ‘Women, Peace and Security’ Agenda and following the implementation of Resolution 1325/2000 and similar resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, the African ministers also thanked Spain for the initiative and undertook to continue their coordination with the aim of boosting equality and the growing participation of women at decision-making levels in their respective countries. They also reaffirmed that they would use the platforms for cooperation and integration to this end at a European and global level and in the Sahel.