The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, marked a significant milestone for gender equality. This event provided an opportunity for governments to acknowledge the importance of equal rights, opportunities, and access to resources for men and women, as well as the need for shared responsibilities within families. In the Millennium Declaration of September 2000, Heads of State and Government pledged to promote gender equality and women's empowerment as effective strategies to combat poverty, hunger, and disease, and to foster sustainable development. Fifteen years later, the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its fifth goal (SDG 5), called upon states to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by the end of the decade. Despite the considerable efforts made by national and local governments, development partners, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, significant gender disparities persist worldwide in all areas of life. In response to this, the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality was launched at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris in July 2021, under the leadership of UN Women. In Africa, where women constitute more than 50% of the population, millions of women continue to face exclusion from formal economic channels, and their representation among decision-makers remains below a quarter. However, recent studies have indicated that gender equality between women and men would greatly contribute to sustainable development. Recognizing the potential of decentralized governance in Africa to address the needs of the population, local and regional governments, as the closest decision-making level to the people, are eager to join the global momentum for gender equality. To guide officials and citizens in local and regional governments in Africa, the present Charter has been developed. This Charter, initiated by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) through its Standing Committee on Gender Equality and the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA), serves as a roadmap for developing territorial policies that promote gender equality in all aspects of governance and local life. By embracing this Charter, African local and regional governments firmly commit to advancing gender equality and creating inclusive societies.
Member Publications