BUJUMBURA August 5th (ABP) – The Association of Repatriated Women of Burundi (AFRABU) organized on Monday August 3, 2020, in Bujumbura, a press conference on the representativeness of women in decision-making bodies and in the peace and security process, a check on the site by the ABP has revealed.
The chairperson and legal representative of AFRABU, Mrs. Godeliève Manirakiza, clarified that this activity took place on the sidelines of the celebration of International African Women’s Day, which is celebrated on July 31 each year, to commemorate the Pan-African Women’s Conference, held on July 31, 1962 in Dar-es-Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. She added that the objective of that press conference was to popularize the results of the representativeness of women and to discuss the opportunities, challenges and constraints, and make recommendations to overcome those challenges, while putting a particular emphasis on the study which was carried out by the AFRABU and validated on December 31, 2019.
Mrs. Manirakiza said that the AFRABU today is delighted with the efforts of the government of Burundi to raise the status of Burundian women, without forgetting to welcome the contribution and technical and financial support of United Nations agencies. and foreign NGOs to promote the role of women. That, according to the AFRABU president, is reminiscent of the achievement of SDG 5 (Sustainable Development Goal), which is to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls, as well as SDG 10 relating to the reduction of inequalities from one country to another.
According to Mrs. Manirakiza, the periodic studies carried out by the AFRABU since 2016 are part of the implementation of the project entitled “Strategic partnership for lobbying and advocacy to take into account the concerns of communities”. She indicated that this project, which has contributed a lot for the improvement of policies and practices for the inclusiveness of women, is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, through the NGO Cordaid.
The AFRABU legal representative took that opportunity to appeal to Burundian women and stakeholders to make their contribution to increase the number of women leaders of villages or districts during the elections which will take place on August 24, because, she believes, women are great agents of change in different sectors, and their contributions are essential. She urged women to reconsider their commitment to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, while putting a lot of effort into the fight against it.
In addition, the AFRABU is seeking permanent support for each year in order to carry out scientific studies which constitute a basis for advocacy and lobbying, added Ms. Manirakiza, noting that the place of women in decision-making bodies is not a favor, but a right that man must recognize. Hence, men are also sensitized and called upon to become more involved in the process of promoting women’s rights, she stressed, while calling on media professionals to play their role, to be ambassadors. of women and to open spaces for the promotion of the status of women.
The inclusive development consultant, Mr. Zénon Manirakiza, reported that according to the study conducted in 2019, the representativeness of women in decision-making bodies remained at 18% on average as in 2017 and 2018, unlike in 2016 when the rate of representation of women was 17%.
In the country’s vital sectors, consultant Manirakiza said, women are represented at a very low percentage, ranging from 0 to 11%, especially in the sectors of education, health, the presidency of the Republic and so on. In that case, in 2019 there were 28.9% of women ministers, 29% of women assistants to ministers, 19% of women permanent secretaries and 31% of women general managers.
Mr. Manirakiza noted that the new Burundian constitution promulgated in 2018 allowed women to participate in the elections in large numbers because, he said, articles 181, 182, 183 and 191 of the electoral code were amended in favor of women, hence the representativeness rose from 25 to 33%.
The consultant Manirakiza therefore asks all Burundians to support women in their advocacy to achieve parity between men and women in decision-making bodies. He also asks to cut short with certain Burundian customs which denigrate the woman while privileging the man.
Mr. Manirakiza reported that the AFRABU is continuing to implement the recommendations, such as disseminating the results of this study to the various advocacy actors, working in synergy with all stakeholders in the electoral process, and seizing all opportunities to that advocacy should be successful especially during an election period. She also continues to approach the appointing authorities to enhance the representativeness of women in non-elective sectors and to use the opportunities offered by both national and international events to spread the messages.
The representative of the Association of Women Journalists (AFJO), Mrs. Diane Ndonse, for her part, asked media professionals to hand the microphone to women as they do to men because, she acknowledged, women are also capable of making a contribution to development. The participants in that conference asked all women not to be afraid to speak freely at the microphone held out in front of them