Washington, D.C., March 10, 2008 – In recognition of International Women’s Day, the British Embassy joined Africare to launch the United Kingdom’s Executive Summary of an upcoming White Paper outlining policy recommendations on women’s empowerment issues in Africa. Participants were hosted at Africare headquarters, Africare House, with a proper afternoon tea.
Targeting governments in Africa and donors, the full paper will set out a number of far-reaching policy recommendations with a view toward promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women in Africa.
In his welcoming remarks, Julius E. Coles, president of Africare, thanked guests for coming to celebrate such an important day and for showing their support for the important issue of Women’s Empowerment in Africa. Africare provides numerous programs on the continent that address the health, well-being and economic potential of women.
Dominick Chilcott, Deputy Ambassador at the British Embassy, in stressing the importance of women’s empowerment, stated: “The third Millennium Development Goal calls for gender equality and the empowerment of women. But it would be wrong to pigeon-hole women’s empowerment into that Goal only….Women’s empowerment is a key component of successful and sustainable development across the board.”
Keynote speaker H.E. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, ambassador of the Republic of Zambia, reminded guests that though there are still challenges facing women in Africa, the fight for women’s empowerment has come a long way.
Other notable attendees included H.E. Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador of Morocco to the U.S., Ambassador Shirley E. Barnes and Ambassador Lange Schermerhorn. Patricia Faraut, founder of Africa Femmes Performantes, which will hold its second International Congress of Black Women in Paris this spring, came from Paris to attend the event.
Africare is a leading non-profit organization specializing in African aid. It is also the oldest and largest African-American led organization in that field. Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered more than $710 million in assistance and support — over 2,000 projects and millions of beneficiaries — to 36 countries Africa-wide. Africare has its international headquarters in Washington, DC, with field offices currently in some 23 African countries.