First African Gender Equality conference has been convened by a Pan African Women’s rights organization-AGEC.
It is an opportunity to bring together delegates from across Africa to discuss challenges that are affecting gender equality on the continent.
The three-day virtual conference is hosted by Malawi as part of the celebrations of this year’s International Women’s Day.
Speaking during the conference from Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, the First Lady Monica Chakwera said the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi, saw over 45,000 girls falling pregnant and 13,000 children got married between April and August 2020.
Madam Chakwera said COVID-19 has affected all the gains made in gender equality. The First Lady noted that the pandemic has further deepened pre-existing inequalities. At this point, Madam Chakwera warned perpetrators of all forms of Gender based violence to stop or face music.
European Union’s Charge d’Affaires, Aurelie Valtat, said her organization has been at the forefront supporting vulnerable children to attain education. She, has however, stressed the need for concerted efforts to achieve gender equality.
Speaking earlier Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati applauded the First Lady for her commitment to ending child marriages.
During the conference, Delegates also celebrated individuals that have championed gender equality which saw Emma Kaliya receiving an award as a lifetime achiever and Martha Chizuma the Malawi Ombudsman, as the woman of the year.
The annual Africa Gender Equality Conference is being held under the theme, ‘Women in leadership: Achieving equal future in a COVID-19 World.