Kafue, Zambia, Tuesday, April 25, 2017: The third Training of Trainer’s workshop on gender programming for high level professionals from Member States and the Secretariat began on Monday 24th April, 2017. The purpose of the four days training is to inculcate analytical skills for gender mainstreaming during the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of project and programmes in member States and the Secretariat.

The first and second training were conducted in July and November 2015 in Kenya and Zambia respectively. So far Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Swaziland, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been trained.

The 3rd training is sponsored by USAID East African Regional Office in Kenya and attracted participation from Comoros, Djibouti, DRC, Eritrea, Madagascar, Malawi and COMESA Secretariat.

The Director of the Gender and Social Affairs in COMESA, Mrs Beatrice Hamusonde described the training as important for member States to sustainably utilize the trainers in respective countries whenever need arose. She was speaking during the opening of the workshop.

“This training is part of efforts for us to entrench gender in regional integration at both the Member State and secretariat level,” Mrs Hamusonde said.

The COMESA Treaty in Chapter 24, Articles 154 and 155 emphasizes on gender mainstreaming in all programmes and women’s economic empowerment. The role of women is critical to ensure sustainable development.

COMESA Gender Policy calls for gender mainstreaming in all sectors at Member State and at the Secretariat.

In addition, the COMESA Gender and Social development reporting guidelines were adopted by Council during the Council of Ministers meeting in Madagascar. Member States will be submitting periodic reports to Secretariat that will enable the consolidation of a regional report on Gender and Social Development. The report will show the progress the region is making towards the realization of gender equality, women’s empowerment and Social Development.