The East African Community (EAC), in collaboration with women organisations, and financial support from EAC-GIZ via SEAMPEC commemorated the International Women’s Day 2021 virtually under the theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World” on 12 March. The event recognised outstanding women leaders in the region who have provided exemplary leadership in promoting equality of women during the COVID-19 Pandemic and provided recommendations for action to promote gender equality in the region. EAC staff, EALA members, representatives from EACJ, apex bodies of the Regional Dialogue Committee, EAC-GIZ staff, women rights associations in the region and EAC Youth Ambassadors, attended the virtual meeting.
The opening remarks by EAC Secretary General Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko painted a vivid picture of the important role of women for the EAC development, especially during the pandemic. “Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, and community organizers, and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry,” he said, adding that the women and the girl-child had borne the bulk of the negative effects of the pandemic."
Amb. Mfumukeko stressed that the EAC is aiming for gender equality throughout the integration process.