You are here

Ahead of the second African Union (AU) Men's Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence against Women and Girls, on 9-10 November, the AU in partnership with the Government of Senegal with funding support from UNFPA on 8 November, launched the AU Youth Consultation on the theme: "Accelerating actions and Promoting Positive Masculinity to End Violence against Women and Girls.”


Held under the leadership of Fatou Diane, Minister of Women Family and Child Protection at the Esplanade of the Museum of Black Civilizations, in Dakar, Senegal, the event was attended by over 300 young people from across the African continent.

Officially launching the Youth Consultation, minister Fatou Diane said, her country has ensured the development of protective legal framework for the protection of for women and girls. The hope, she said, is to build from Dakar with the AU, a strategic cooperation with young people against violence against women and girls.


Also speaking at the same event, Senegal’s Minister of Youth, Pape Malick Ndour said, the fight for the empowerment of girls is part of the agenda of the Government of President Macky Sall, referring to the consultation as an opportunity for young people to become aware of the challenges of the continent in order to fully play their roles.


Senior Advisor and Director of UNFPA Office to the AU, Mabingue Ngom in his remarks, said to have the Africa that is needed by young people, there is need for collective action in the fight against violence against women and girls. UNFPA, he informed participants, continues to support strategic interventions towards the advancement of the right and dignity of women and girls. 

We have advocated for changing attitudes in favor of equity and equality for women through the SWEDD project, launched in 2018, we have also led the New Deal approach based on moral commitment. The lives of our women will only change when we men change our behaviors and the way we treat women and girls,” Mabingue emphasized. 


Representing the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Ms. Ouriatou Danfakha in her remarks, called for a focus on the economic empowerment of women and girls, by allowing them access to leadership, justice and to health. “As young people you are the key to change. By changing mindsets, we can change society towards positive masculinity within a generation,” she emphasized.

The fight against discrimination and violence is one of those causes that leave no room for neutrality, as they impose only one choice:  commitment and action. It is in this context, that the Inaugural African Union Men's Conference was held on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence Against Women and Girls on November 25, 2021 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the girls.


This landmark conference saw the adoption of the Kinshasa Declaration and Call for Action on Positive Masculinity, later adopted as a decision of the AU Assembly at the AU Heads of State Summit in February 2022. The Declaration and Call to Action, inter alia, enjoins AU Heads of State to report annually on measures taken and progress made to end violence against women and girls in Africa.


As a result, addressing the role of men in perpetrating acts of violence and recognizing that patriarchal norms of masculinity promote violence have become a priority. In 2021, the AU organized a consultation with young people, traditional leaders, political actors and civil society activists to discuss how young people in Africa can be fully involved, empowered and meaningfully engaged in the fight against violence against  women and girls.   

As part of preparation for the second AU Men's Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership from 9-10 November, there was the need to consult with youth to among others, review progress made since last year, identify gaps that exist in the implementation of the Kinshasa declaration and discuss solutions to address these challenges and how young people can play a key role in this regard.


Recommendations to address implementation challenges will be presented to Heads of State and Governments during the second AU Men's Conference on 9-10 November, 2022 in Dakar.