I. Campaign Framework
The Campaign# ‘African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence against Women and Girls’, organized under the slogan, ‘African cities and territories, it is up to you to act against violence against women and girls,’ is an initiative from the African Network of Locally Elected Women, REFELA, the Standing Committee on Gender Equality of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), which is a pan-African organization with diplomatic status and headquarters in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.
REFELA was launched in Tangier, Morocco in 2011. It has an executive board of fifteen members representing the five regions of Africa. The presidency of REFELA is held by the city of Bangangté in Cameroon until November 2021, represented by its Mayor, Mrs. Célestine Ketcha-Courtes.
REFELA is in the fight against all forms of gender-based violence against African women and girls, with the support of UCLG Africa and other partners including the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Equality and Social Development. This fight is one of the priorities for the United Cities and Local and Regional Governments of Africa, as well as a priority for the rest of the world.
To this end, in its three-year action plan for 2019-2021, REFELA proposes the launch of three campaigns:
- The campaign of African cities with zero tolerance for violence against women
- The campaign of African cities without street children
- The African Cities Campaign for Women’s Economic Empowerment.
This call for expressions of interest is addressed to leaders and councils of African cities and local authorities, as well as to their representative associations who volunteer to join the Campaign# ‘African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women and Girls’.
II. Interests of the Campaign#
As demonstrated in the first analytical report on violence against women and girls and progress made in the African context, prepared by the REFELA team and disseminated during Africities 8, (November 2018), the rise of this phenomenon seriously threatens the ideals of good governance in African cities and local territories. A commitment to the fight to end violence against women would make it possible to view African cities differently. It would promote a more egalitarian and fair transition of cities and improve the image of local authorities in line with African and international agendas specific to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (the ODD5) by 2030.
This persistent phenomenon contradicts the values of respect, equity and justice that are the very foundation of African societies. It challenges African cities in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and more specifically ODD5: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2030.
In this regard, REFELA members propose the campaign, ‘African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence against Women and Girls’, to ensure that the eradication of this scourge by 2030 is high on the agenda of development policies and strategies of African cities and local authorities.
The campaign calls for the free participation of cities and communities that volunteer to become involved. REFELA members are convinced that most of the leaders of African cities and communities will participate, because it is primarily through their ability to seriously address this phenomenon that those responsible for the governance of cities and territories will be judged in their desire to develop more just, egalitarian, inclusive and sustainable cities and communities, in accordance with the prescriptions of the United Nations’ ODD5.
The rejection of injustices and discrimination against women must be the basis for a spirit of solidarity on the part of all women mayors and locally elected representatives and officials gathered within REFELA. It must include all components of society including civil society organizations, the business community, traditional and religious authorities and partners in interstate or decentralized cooperation engaged in Africa. This is why the ‘Campaign @ African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence against Women and Girls’ has been announced as an international and global campaign.
III. Campaign Membership
The presentation of the campaign ‘African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women and Girls’ took place within the framework of the 8th edition of the Africities Summit, which took place November 20 – 24, 2018, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Cities and local authorities and their national associations interested in joining the ‘African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women’ should return the following completed and signed membership form to the UCLG Africa Secretariat no later than April 30th, 2019. Adherents who sign the memoranda of understanding will become active members of the ‘African Cities with Zero Tolerance for Violence against Women and Girls’
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