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African Union Keeps its Commitment to Gender Equality

Four of the commissioners are now women. They will work with the AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat from Chad (re-elected), and his deputy, Monique Nsanzabaganwa from Rwanda. Nsanzabaganwa takes office for the first time and is the first woman deputy chairperson. This implies that the Commission’s composition is reflective of the AU’s objective to achieve gender equality in leadership. This objective is in tandem with Aspiration 6 of the Union’s Agenda 2063. The agenda relies on the potential of the “African people, especially its women…” The female Commissioners have not been restricted to the stereotypical gender, youth, and social dockets. This is often the case for African woman in leadership. Instead, they are responsible for issues like the blue economy, sustainable environment, infrastructure and energy as well as science, technology and innovation. The appointment of female Commissioners is in line with the Maputo Protocol, which requires African states to ensure the participation of women at all levels of decision making, and eliminate stereotypical roles for women and men. As the AU’s central institution, the Commission is the right place to start in fostering equal representation of women and elimination of stereotypes.