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Pan-African Women’s Day: Celebrating the African Women since 1962

by Roveen Anyango
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For much of the rest of the world, July 31st is a day like any other. However, for women all across Africa, it is a day of commemoration and celebration, a day where the empowerment of women all across Africa is celebrated.

Pan-African Women’s Day is celebrated on July 31st to commemorate the anniversary of the foundation of Pan-African Women’s Organization. The Pan-African Women’s Organization (PAWO) was founded in 1962 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It is a year older than the Organization of African Unity, now called the Africa Union. The date is to commemorate gender equality and women’s empowerment while also celebrating our Foremother of Africa, who led the lines in liberation and development of Africa.

The first ever Secretary-General of PAWO was Sister Jeanne Martin Cisse of Guinea. Jeanne Martin Cisse was the SG of PAWO until her eventual nomination to the UN Secretary Council, where she served as the first woman in the world and later on became the President of the UN Security Council.

In 1970, the position of President was included, and the current President of PAWO is Sister Eunice Koite, with Uganda’s Grace Kabaye serving as the SG. The two were unanimously elected at the 10th Congress in Namibia in 2019.

Aims and Objectives of PAWO

PAWO was formed to achieve many objectives related to women’s causes:

  • The first and obvious aim was to mobilize women in countries still under colonial rule to fight for their liberation.
  • It also aimed to continue women’s struggle for participation in decision-making processes in fields such as economy, culture and social live, at national and international levels.
  • Establish continuous relationship between African women and women across the world.
  • Be at the fore in leading actions aimed to end serious human right violation and violence against women.
  • Support actions of African governments against colonizers.

Supporting African Women

Thus, to continue the excellent work of PAWO, we here at AWIT are committed to supporting and helping African women find their feet and their voices in fields such as tech, business, and other careers of their choosing. Through workshops, mentorship opportunities, and conferences, we aim to help African women achieve their dreams even when away from the spotlight on July 31st.

Therefore, if you want to keep up with African women doing great things and perhaps even join them, or follow other topics related to tech and business, subscribe to our newsletter and be in the loop. Happy Pan-African Women’s Day!

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