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"The Importance of Knowledge Generation and Visibility for the work of Women in Political Participation"  A Roundtable to mark the launch of the WPP-Africa Website

17 February 2021
12:00- 13:00 CAT

International IDEA has, together with six of its partners, formed a Gender consortium on "Enhancing the Participation of Women in Political Participation in Africa". This undertaking, which is funded by the Embassy of Sweden to Ethiopia, is a three-year project with an overall goal of increasing the political participation and representation of women in Africa in line with the Maputo Protocol of 2003, various associated sub-regional protocols and standards and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Project’s key intervention areas are:

1. Knowledge generation, documentation and dissemination; 

2. Training and capacity enhancement;

3. Advocacy and outreach; 

4. Policy and political dialogue ; and

5. Peer to peer exchange and mentorship.

In 2020, and to kickstart the work of enhancing a knowledge-based support to necessary lobbying, policy-making and effective Women in Political Participation (WPP) interventions in Africa, the consortium partners carried out a variety of context studies, situational analyses, policy briefs and research papers. An initiative towards highlighting the plight of women politicians who face different levels of violence—systemic and outright physical—called ‘WPP Watch’ was also initiated; as was the work of compiling a Barometer on the state of Women’s political participation across the 54 countries of Africa.

These products form a critical aspect of showcasing the levels of representation, empowerment, and influence of Africa’s women in politics, while drawing attention to critical gaps requiring addressing if equality is to be attained. Awareness and access for the work of WPP is particularly crucial because, as has been observed before, there can be no equality of gender without equality of voice. African women’s equality of participation in the political arena is especially urgent not least because ‘women’s equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for justice or democracy but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women’s interests to be taken into account. Without the perspective of women at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development, and peace cannot be achieved’ (The Beijing Platform of Action, 1995).

The Covid-19 pandemic has made the state of gender inequality even more glaring. It is thus envisaged that the results of the research and analysis carried out which translate into various knowledge products, will be impactful as they go beyond a general and generic conversation about the obstacles faced by women to allow for a clear and precise identification of the type of challenges presented by the different stages in the quest for participation presented by the different geographical contexts in which women carry out their work—alongside men—within their communities, broadly defined. A platform such as the WPP website offers an important repository then, for the anchoring of the knowledge generated; for its ventilation, access and distribution, and towards informing the furtherance of the work of consortium members, as well as present and future users active in the struggle for gender equality, and WPP work, specifically. 


1. Objectives

The discussion on knowledge and visibility of women in political participation will serve the following objectives:

  • To share continental perspectives on knowledge generation in the field of WPP.
  • To provide on the ground experiences on how knowledge generation and visibility benefits women in politics .
  • To highlight civil society perspectives on the importance of WPP knowledge generation and visibility.
  • To share the various platforms for visibility for the WPP work as well as the various knowledge products that will be produced. 
  • To launch the WPP watch website and promote visibility for the WPP consortium’s operations. 


2. Outcomes 

The discussion on knowledge generation and visibility will add a key dimension to work that seeks to draw attention to and amplify the voice of women in politics in Africa. The roundtable will provide a platform for multi-stakeholders to share their experiences on disseminating information and bring in the knowledge generation aspects in a time of enhanced engagement with the digital world. Attention will be drawn to the work housed by WPP-Africa, and a possible strengthening of the platform be garnered.

The discussion brings together gender activists, academia, policymakers and women in political decision-making to share a common purpose of raising awareness, success stories, challenges and knowledge on women in political participation. 





12:00 – 12:05
Introductions and welcome
  • Dr Pinkie Mekgwe
12:05 – 12:10
Introduction of the keynote speaker
  • Professor Adebayo Olukoshi
12:10 – 12:20
Keynote speech – Importance of visibility and knowledge generation for work on women in political participation
  • Honourable Minister Thoko Angela Didiza – South Africa Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
12:20 – 12:40
Importance of knowledge generation and visibility of Women in Political Participation work
  • Dr Godwin Murunga: Knowledge generation in Africa – Executive Secretary, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)
  • Proffesor Bhekinkosi Moyo: Civil Society Perspectives - Chair of the Board of Directors , Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA)
  • Sarah-Leigh Elago: At the coalface perspective of knowledge generation and visibility – Namibia’s President of the Pan African Renaissance (PAR) and Council Member of Swakopmund Municipality, Namibia
12:40 – 12:55
Discussion on knowledge generation and visibility
  • All
12:55 – 13:00
Vote of thanks
  • Sifisosami Dube



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