On 19 May 2022, the Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa was launched at the 9th Africities Summit, in Kisumu, Kenya. This auspicious moment was the culmination of four years of broad, participative consultation across the continent, and partnership between the gender equality and women’s empowerment networks of both UCLG Africa and its Network of Local Elected Women in Africa (REFELA) and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), and the Africa-Europe Support Committee established in 2019, extending to the global level via United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

    The Charter commits to fight all forms of discrimination against women to ensure their inclusion in the development programs of African cities and territories. Alongside similar documents protecting the rights of women, the African Charter should be the mechanism to be applied daily to ensure the emancipation of women in Africa. It is accompanied by an extensive implementation guide, with practical tools and considerations for cities in how to apply it to their local contexts, and is available in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

    The launch of the Charter aimed to present the document and its guide to all interested parties, to highlight the importance of the tool for ensuring more equitable and resilient territories with increased participation of women in leadership at all levels, and to invite discussion on challenges and opportunities for implementation, as well as the sharing of experiences.

    The proceedings were opened by REFELA former president, Macoura Coulibaly Dao who highlighted that the process of REFELA's struggle for equity and gender started in Africities 8 in Marrakech, thus it is fitting that the launch of the Charter is taking place at Africities 9 in Kisumu. She emphasised, “Today it is a question of concretizing this process through the charter of gender communities in Africa”.

    Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG World Secretariat shared her conviction that the Charter is both a critical declaration of intent and a commitment to action for the whole continent. She highlighted that women’s political leadership on the African continent has been guiding the Feminist Municipal Movement around the world. 

    UCLG Africa’s Secretary General, Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, emphasised that many men are allies of REFELA and the promotion of gender equality throughout Africa, and should be counted on to support the implementation. 

    “It is an honor for Africities to have hosted the signing ceremony of the Gender Equality Charter. This is a sign that our organisation proudly carries the banner of gender consideration,” shared Fatimetou Abdel Malick, new President of UCLG-Africa.


    You can read the full Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa here, and the Implementation guide here.