Women’s Conference laments and addresses information-gaps

Women Members of Parliament concur that significant numbers of African women still do not have access to, and receipt of information in order to make informed decisions.

Lesotho representative in PAP Hon. Ntlhoi MOTSAMAI raised an issue of information gap between urban and rural women, saying “it is a challenge for women in the rural areas to make informed decisions because of lack of access and receipt of information”.

She made an example with Lesotho’s Land Act of 1979 which was amended in 2010 giving women the right to acquire and hold land on their own names as well as rights to inherit like anybody else.

“When the Land Act was amended in 2010, women in the urban areas hailed the move because they understood what was going on. Women in the rural area are still in the dark because up to today they still do depend on men for access of land in their area,” she said.

She said there is still a serious need for women to undergo regular workshops, also suggesting that gender equity and equality should be instilled in women at a young age.

Hon. Bingirana KAWOOYA from Uganda said women empowerment in Africa is critical. “Gender equality is a human right it is high time that as women actors we find sustainable solutions for women to be able to access information and gain knowledge,” she said.

Hon. Abdelaziz ELGENDY from Egypt advanced an agenda for an urgent need to expose women to intensive training, literacy programmes as well as to technologies.

In conclusion, Hon. Rouamba WORKYA from Burkina Faso proposed the establishment of the Steering Committee that would be made up of PAP Women Members of Parliament and female members of the Civil Society female representatives to follow up on implementation of conference decisions, arguing that given a chance, women make long lasting changes.