8th March 2024 (Arusha, Tanzania) – PALU (Pan African Lawyers Union) stands as a formidable advocate for women's rights across the African continent, demonstrating unwavering commitment through various initiatives and campaigns. The organization's relentless efforts are geared towards amplifying the voices of women, addressing systemic inequalities, and fostering an environment of inclusivity and empowerment.

The weeklong campaign orchestrated by PALU in commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) serves as a testament to the organization's dedication to both celebrating the accomplishments of women and shedding light on the persisting challenges they encounter. Under the theme “Inspire Inclusion” for IWD 2024, PALU strategically emphasized the imperative of creating a society where women are afforded equal opportunities to thrive in every sphere of life.

At the forefront of PALU's gender advocacy initiatives was Ms. Mgusuhi Maswi, who leads the organization's gender portfolio with remarkable passion and expertise. As a Fellow under the Clooney Foundation for Justice’ Waging Justice for Women Initiative, Ms. Maswi spearheaded a range of activities aimed at fostering solidarity and raising awareness on women's rights issues. Through strategic social media engagement, PALU shared a video message from the CEO, Mr. Donald Deya cementing and reaffirming PALU’s commitment to promote gender equality, women's rights, and the inclusion of women and girls across Africa. View Video [Here]

Together with that, PALU effectively mobilized its members and stakeholders, rallying them to join our wear purple campaign – (a colour that internationally symbolizes Women, Justice and Dignity) and share a photo putting up a hands heart sign (joining the global campaign) which were shared in our platforms together with a photo from PALU secretariat staff. Additionally, PALU crafted fact sheets about women and girls which were distributed widely via social media channels, applauding women's progress while also shedding light on persistent challenges, and igniting vital conversations around gender equality and social justice.

In a bid to deepen engagement and facilitate dialogue, PALU actively participated in a virtual town hall session on Twitter, in collaboration with Elimika Wikiendi, a Swahili-based advocacy platform. This interactive session served as a platform for discussion and creating awareness on pertinent issues such as women's access to education, economic opportunities, participation and social justice across the African landscape.

PALU also created and shared a Women spotlight by sharing profiles of 5 inspiring women at the secretariat office, highlighting their work, achievements, aspirations and what inclusivity looks like to them.

To conclude our celebration for the IWD and focusing on the theme, PALU will inspire youth inclusivity by conducting an outreach with schoolgirls on their rights and provide career guidance to inspire girls who would love to explore a career in Law in the near future. The outreach will document short stories from few girls on their aspirations for the future.

PALU's advocacy for the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (better known as the Maputo Protocol) by African Union member states stands as a cornerstone of its commitment to advancing women's rights. With an impressive 49 out of 55 member states having ratified the protocol, PALU's advocacy efforts have played a pivotal role in accelerating its adoption as the most progressive and comprehensive instrument addressing the multifaceted needs and rights of women in Africa.

In summation, PALU's tireless dedication to advocating for women's rights and inclusion epitomizes its core values and mission. Through proactive engagement, strategic partnerships, and advocacy efforts, PALU continues to make significant strides towards realizing gender equality and empowering women across the African continent.

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