By Julius Odeke
The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is on a working visit to Paris, France, this November to attend the 50thanniversary of the Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO), to be held at the UNESCO Headquarters.
This is Dr Dlamini Zuma’s first official engagement to Europe since her assumption of office as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on October 15, this year.
A press release from the Media center says her trip signals AUC’s support to PAWO. It also signals the Chairperson’s commitment to gender equality, “not only as a human rights issue, but also as a resource that we must develop by prioritising investment in the education and health of women and girl children”, said Dr. Dlamini Zuma.
“Women should be given equal opportunities with men in all walks of life. It is important because when you improve the lives of women and you educate them, a lot of things change, not only for that woman, but for the family, for the community and for the country”, she added.
During this visit, Dr. Dlamini Zuma will meet with Mr. Francois Hollande, President of the Republic of France. The AUC Chairperson will also meet Mr. Francois Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Zuma says PAWO is a women’s organization that was founded in 1962 in Tanzania, a year before the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union to spearhead issues that affect women and development related ones.
It is based since 2008 in Pretoria, South Africa. At its founding, PAWO was given an observer status in the African Union. The organisation receives material support and resources from the African Union and in turn supports programs undertaken by the AU.