Report on the Participation of the SOAWR Coalition in the AU Summit

In January 2013, the African Union convened the 25th Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, and the 20th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union under the theme “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance’’. This report provides a summary of SOAWR activities conducted during this African Union Summit and a reflection of the challenges, lessons learnt, and opportunities for future engagement. The SOAWR delegation comprised of representatives of Alliances for Africa (AfA), Oxfam, and the Inter-African Network for Women, Media, Gender and Development (FAMEDEV).
The SOAWR coalition’s main objective for the Summit were: to meet and network; to advocate for the ratification of the Maputo Protocol; and to amplify SOAWR visibility among CSOs and the AU in order to strengthen relations and improve ways of working to improve implementation of the Protocol.

The delegation achieved this by organising strategic meetings with key players in the AU such as the AUC Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha Abdullah; Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Ms Tumusiime Rhoda Peace; Her Excellency Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi; UN Special Representative of the Secretary – General on sexual violence in conflict Ms Zainab Hawa Bangura and UN Women Executive Director, Michele Bachelet. Members also achieved their objectives by lobbying government representatives to ratify the Protocol during the PRC and Executive Council and by interacting with the media.