Our work protecting and promoting the human rights of women and girls means we get to work side by side with some incredible women in positions of power every day. At a time when many female-led governments are being praised for their assertive leadership in response to COVID-19, we’re asking why women leaders matter.
My name is Rainatou Sow, I am from Guinea and I am the Executive Director of Make Every Woman Count.
WHAT DOES EQUALITY MEAN TO YOU?
Women and men have equal rights, equal opportunities, and participation in all areas of life.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE DIVERSE WOMEN IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES?
The full participation and inclusion of women are vital to the continent’s growth and development. African governments can simply no longer afford to deny the full potential of one half of the population. Women must be present at the table where decisions about their lives and communities are made so that they are able to participate in the economic, political, and social development of the continent.
HOW IS COVID-19 AFFECTING THE PEOPLE YOU SERVE?
COVID-19 is having a huge impact on women and girls in their daily life across Africa. The lockdown imposed by countries is putting women and girls at high risk of violence (domestic and sexual violence, police brutality,) which is rising sharply. Limited access to sexual reproductive health services, access to life-saving support, child marriage, access to food, are some of the issues facing women during the outbreak of COVD-19 pandemic.
There is a risk that it will reverse the gains made on the advancement of women’s rights since Beijing in 1995.