JIF 2021: The Chief of MONUSCO has called for a better representation of women in the Congolese government
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC, Ms. Bintou Keita, this Monday March 8, 2021, has called on the new Congolese Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, to take into account women’s representativeness in the formation of the future government.
The ongoing discussions for the formation of a new government are a critical moment for the DRC to make further progress towards a better representation of women.
The Chief of MONUSCO made this declaration during the celebration of the International Women's Rights Day organized in Kinshasa by the Congolese Ministry of Gender, Family and Children, in collaboration with MONUSCO.
“The ongoing discussions for the formation of a new government are a critical moment for the DRC to make further progress towards a better representation of women, in compliance with the law. We expect no less from the upcoming government and encourage Prime Minister, Sama Lukonde, to move in this direction,” she said.
Members of the Congolese government, at the national and provincial levels, members of parliament and senators, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as members of civil society organizations, including associations for the promotion of women's rights attended this ceremony.
In the current year 2021, the national theme for the International Women's Rights Day is "Excellence-based Female Leadership, egalitarian and digital society in the era of COVID-19".
In her speech, the Chief of MONUSCO also applauded the efforts made so far to improve women’s representation in nominative and elective positions, in particular by the outgoing government, in which she noted the presence of "18% of women, including one deputy Prime minister, three State ministers and women who led traditionally-reserved-for-men departments ”.
Ms. Keita encouraged the authorities to "proceed with efforts to improve women’s representation in the public and private spheres" in the DRC.
"I am delighted that, upon assuming the office of the president of the African Union, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, His Excellency Felix Tshisekedi, has shown a firm commitment to work for a more inclusive Africa, respectful of human dignity, in particular that of women and girls, ”she further said.
While acknowledging this progress, Ms. Keita regretted that there are still obstacles in the move towards equality between men and women, and that women’s representation has not yet reached parity level.
When women rule, the State invests more in social protection and poverty diminishes faster.
Prior to that, the Special Representative read out the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ statement, indicating that he was proud of the UN's achievement for the first time of gender parity in leadership positions.
““When women rule, the State invests more in social protection and poverty diminishes faster; when women sit in Parliament, countries take firmer stands in their policies to combat climate change; when women participate in peace talks, peace deals are more durable, ”said the UN chief.
Finally, as part of the after-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, Mr. Guterres has called for supportive measures and recovery plan that specifically target women and girls. “An opportunity to break with centuries of exclusion and inequality,” he said.