Convened by EASSI, the multi-stakeholder dialogue intended to present and discuss the findings of the pilot implementation of the EAC Gender Barometer and to lay the foundation and build partnerships for an evidence based advocacy tool for promoting gender equality in the East African Community (EAC). The Commonwealth Foundation supported the dialogue, which was held in Kampala in May 2017.
Under EASSI’s leadership the dialogue provided a space for civil society, government representatives from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda as well as women’s rights activists to interact on the findings of the EAC Gender Barometer. Some of the highlights from the pilot:
- Need for bold steps to address gender redistributive justice, and to reorient entitlements of women and men. All governments achieved low scores in this regard
- Gender-based violence: need for issue based conscientization campaign and the need for accountability channels, where currently none exist.
- Sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS: there has been a reversal of gains in countries like Uganda; social responses need to be strengthened.
- Rwanda taking the lead in institutionalising gender budgeting. Macro economic frameworks still largely impervious to gender and equity concerns
- Good progress made on legislation; challenge is in implementation.
At the dialogue a government representative from South Africa offered the SADC experience on the use of the barometer in the Southern Africa region and spoke of how important the collaborative partnership to advance gender equality is.
In addition, five policy briefs based on identified gender priority issues were developed to include targeted policy recommendations on realisation of gender equality in the EAC.
Priorities for the way forward: 1) Popularising the Gender Bill nationally, 2) National ratification, 3) application of the Gender Barometer