The first ever PSI Africa and Arab Regional Women’s Conference took place in Abuja, Nigeria from 11th – 13th July 2023. The conference brought together women public service workers from Cameroon, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Zambia, under the theme “Women Workers Together Breaking Barriers Towards Gender Equality”.
Driven by women, a political decision was taken by AFREC to hold a Regional Women’s Conference. The results of our conference have been produced alongside this declaration.
Women in the public service have come together to interrogate the challenges we face in the region which remains steeped in patriarchal gender relations that inhibit the opportunities, access and freedom of women. We face many political, economic and social insecurities in our region that suffers from civil war, climate disasters, informalisation and casualisation of work that is accompanied by privatisation and austerity, tax avoidance and evasion, as well as growing internal displacement of people.
These issues severely impact women who bear the burden of paid and unpaid labour. Women also bear the brunt of violence, harassment and feminicide, and the unjust and unequal social organisation of care.
What this conference has demonstrated to us is that we have solutions, and we have the power of solidarity. Through collective action, we will take concrete steps through our Women’s Committees using the many tools available to us. This includes strengthening the political will of government, employers, and progressive allies to fight and continue the struggle for gender justice.
Women Committees are our engine that holds us together, and through which we will fight for structural change. As women leaders, our capacity, our methodologies, and our analysis is the key to building a new world.
We are determined to further women’s international solidarity, and in this spirit, we call on PSI to organise a World Women’s Conference to strengthen the political commitment of women workers of the world.
You strike a women, you strike a rock!
The PSI Africa and Arab countries regional women's conference is being held on 11-13 July 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria. The theme of the conference is "Women workers together breaking barriers towards gender equality".