October 24, 2021

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: Message from the President of the African Development Bank

2 min read

The African Development Bank is committed to a genuine and comprehensive transformation of Africa through sustainable economic development.

Through the implementation of the High 5s – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa – a new continent with revived values and a new vision will emerge.

But this cannot happen while high levels of violence continue against women and girls.

Violence against women cannot be localised, cannot be covered up or kept behind closed doors. Violence is viral – it destroys the victim, damages the community, and compromises the whole region’s economic and social development.

Without renewed efforts to reduce and eliminate gender gaps, the gender equality aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 are at risk.

Promoting gender equality in legislative frameworks, practices and attitudes helps to create inclusive and dynamic economies, positive for the region’s development.

The African Development Bank will promote gender equality through legal reforms, via policy and with strategy development to end traditional customs and practices that damage the rights of women and girls and stop them from fulfilling their potential.

This is why we are celebrating the 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence.

The campaign calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls all over the world.

The Bank is also committed to its flagship programs targeting women, such as the Affirmative Financing Action for Women (AFAWA) – 50 million women speak and others to come.

With its new Development and Business Delivery Model, the Bank will strengthen measures against sexual harassment in the workplace and increase its efforts to establish gender equality in all its sites and operations.

Institutions where gender-based violence exists cannot prosper.

Households where gender-based violence exists cannot thrive.

Whenever you have gender-based violence, the potential of women and girls is decimated.

That must not happen.

That is why I am calling for an end to all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls.

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