ADDIS ABABA, November 27, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Erastus Mwencha met, today, with the President of Global POWER Women Africa Network (GPWN) HonourableThokozani Khupe to discuss the way forward on the 'Harare Call To Action' which was issued during the high level meeting GlobalPOWER®WomenNetworkAfrica (in collaboration with the African Union and UNAIDS) held on 24th - 25th May 2012. That meeting and gave a Call to action to different stakeholders in HIV/AIDS including the civil society, women cultural and traditional leaders, women living with HIV, parliamentarians, the African Union Commission, and the GlobalPower Women Network Africa.
Deputy Prime Minister Khupe said people, especially women, suffering from HIV/AIDS were failing to access treatment due to either unavailability of the services or exorbitant treatment costs or they are busy with work and they don't have time. She briefed the meeting about the efforts done so far in Zimbabwe regardless of the limited available resources. She also added that Governments must prioritize and they want [as GPWN] to interface with African leaders directly on the issue of HIV/AIDS and related issues.
She further explained that the purpose of her meeting is to lobby for the 'Harare Call To Action' to be incorporated on the agenda of the next AU Summit scheduled for January 2013. "The outcome of the GPWN will be presented to Heads of States and Government at their next meeting for their possible adoption and support", she noted.
Mr Erastus Mwencha, highlighted, the relevant focus made by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr.Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma concerning women in development and women in leadership. He said that Zimbabwe is one of the countries that lead in issues related to women and gender.
"We should provide a forum where GlobalPOWER WomenAfrica Network will be interactive with many stakeholders. The role of the Network should be inclusive role and not side event." said the AUC Deputy Chairperson.
One of the objectives of the African Women's Decade 2010-2020, themed "Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: A Bottom up Approach", HIV/AIDS is to give priority amongst the ten focus themes to be addressed.
The meeting was attended beside others by Dr. Mustapha SidikiKaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs, Mrs. Litha Musyimi-Ogana. Director of Women, Gender and Development Directorate, AUC.
Source: African Union Commission (AUC)