The Pan African Women’s Day (PAWD) is observed each year on 31st July to recognize the role of women’s organizing for the political freedom of Africa and advancing the social and economic status of women on the continent. It is a day for African women to assert their development and extricate themselves from discrimination, violence, illiteracy, poverty and diseases, which have impacted their development on the continent. The first Pan African Women’s Conference was held in Dar es Salaam in 1962.
This year’s commemoration coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), which is the result of the strong women movement under championship of WiLDAF chapters across the continent. In Tanzania, this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Special Provision Act (SOSPA), an important legislation in the protection of women’s rights.
In this regard, we intend to utilize the occasion “in honour of Leyla Sheikh”; to celebrate the achievements of the women ‘s movement across the continent in championing for reforms and gender equality. Through dialogues with our dear mothers’ champions of women movement in 1990’s and early 2000’s, the women conference objectives include among others;