The Network of Local Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) brings together women members of political bodies responsible for the governance of African cities and local authorities. This REFELA was created in Tangier, Morocco in 2011. Since 2016, it has constituted the Permanent Commission for Gender Equality of UCLG Africa. It has bodies, the Elective Commission, 45 members and the Executive Bureau, 15 members, distributed among the five sub-regions of Africa. It includes national chapters, (REFELA-Pays), which are intended to be the gender equality commission of the national associations of communities, members of UCLG Africa.
REFELA works in favour (i) of the development of women’s leadership in African cities and local authorities, (ii) the integration of women’s concerns and gender equality in the definition and implementation of policies and strategies of local authorities in Africa. To this end, in its three-year action plans, REFELA has planned the implementation of three (3) campaigns, which have been documented through 3 analytical reports on the issues (street children, violence against women, limits to women’s economic empowerment), on which these Campaigns intend to act with African cities and communities:
- The Campaign of African Cities without Children in Street Situations, already launched under the effective Presidency of Princess Her Royal Highness, Lalla Meryem of the Kingdom of Morocco during the Africities Summit in Marrakech (November 2018), a toolbox has been developed, which will support the member cities, for the implementation of this Campaign, in partnership with the Moroccan National Observatory for the Rights of the Child (ONDE); it is this Campaign which is the subject of this call for expressions of interest;
- The campaign of African cities with zero tolerance of violence against women and girls has received the UNESCO-Paris-France IdealKent Award for its planning;
- The campaign of African cities for the economic empowerment of women has an agreement between REFELA-UCLG Africa and the Federation of Andalusian Municipalities (FAMSI) to support its implementation.
The call for expressions of interest has already been launched in 2018 and more than 60 Cities/Communes have already signed up to the campaign, including those that signed up during the Africities Summit in Marrakech (even municipalities that do not really have this problem, but out of interest in the campaign and in prevention).
This 2nd call for expressions of interest, launched for a period of 3 months, is once again addressed to to mayors and councils of the big cities of Africa, which have this problem of children in street situations and which have not yet joined this Campaign), so that they voluntarily adhere in consequent numbers to the Campaign of African Cities without Children in Street Situations.