International Women’s Day 2016: Empowering women and fostering development

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International Women’s Day 2016: Empowering women and fostering development

AWEPA Newsletter

“If the world is deliberate about putting women and children at the centre of the development agenda, we will see the lives of millions of people improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history”. Ms. Graça Machel, Chair of the AWEPA Eminent Advisory Board.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – AWEPA welcomes International Women’s Day, held on 8 March each year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a time for reflection and advocacy; a time to take stock of the work undertaken towards gender equality, and glance towards future plans and activities.

AWEPA firmly believes that the empowerment of women, and more specifically women parliamentarians, can contribute significantly to the development of society as a whole. The organisation has been working to effectively reach and empower women parliamentarians in Africa to improve development, politics and gender equality, for example through its Supporting Legislative Institutions in Somalia programme and the Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa (RFPAC).

Supporting Legislative Institutions in Somalia

AWEPA contributes to the strengthening of Somali legislative institutions, with a special focus on the empowerment of women.

Through general and specialised trainings, technical consultancies, study visits, legislative support and community outreach, the AWEPA programme for Somali women MPs aims to intensify the cooperation between AWEPA and the Somali Women Parliamentarian’s Association (SOWPA) in 2015-2017.


AWEPA supported the creation of the RFPAC, an all-women parliamentary platform that gathers at least once a year.

The RFPAC, whose activities are facilitated by its member parliaments alongside AWEPA, is made up of women parliamentarians delegated by their respective institutions across Central Africa.

The Network strives to empower women and improve their access to positions of power. To this end, members carry out in-depth reflection on the challenges faced by women politicians and the steps to be taken to tackle these challenges, with the objective of helping women in general – and women parliamentarians in particular – to contribute to the development of their society.