In a decade where the push for gender equality and women’s rights across the continent has been met with challenges, the establishment of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) has been a beacon to defend women’s rights and participation in public life in the region.
REFELA has established itself as an integral part of the international feminist municipal movement promoted through UCLG Women. We are most committed to continue supporting its work to achieve its vision of a gender-balanced, inclusive and gender-sensitive local Africa, committed to make gender equality and women empowerment in local decision-making an effective reality on the ground.
In the ten years since its creation, REFELA has stood as a force for improving the status of women, promoting gender equality and achieving SDG 5. From United Cities and Local Governments, we are convinced of the strength that Networks such as REFELA have to bring local elected women together, to challenge misconceptions around the roles of women in decision-making, and to make gender equality a reality.
On its tenth anniversary, we would like to celebrate REFELA’s journey and presence in the African municipal movement empowering women and placing care at the heart of local politics, and wish them many more successes in the years to come.
We look forward to celebrating you at global level on 17th March!
Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG