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Launch of a Parity Observatory in the DRC

MONUC - March 6, 2008

Launch of a Parity Observatory in the DRC

In the lead up to International Woman's Day, celebrated on 8 March each year, a Parity Observatory in the DRC was launched, which has the role of ensuring a permanent follow-up on the progress of parity for women at the social, economic, and policy levels in the DRC, while supervising and stimulating implementation of effective gender equality.

The NGO Parity Observatory, through its principal instrument wants to have effective follow up and evaluation of the impact of policies aimed at reducing the disparities between men and women in the DRC.

?One can find on the site the statistics on the participation of women in political life, and more precisely if  women have the same possibilities as men to occupy positions of responsibility,? explained the director Ms. Espérance Mawanzo.

According to its website, in the national institutions, there are six women (13%) among the 45 members of government, while in the parliament, women count for 55 out of 653, or 8.5%. In addition, there are 11 women out of 61 provincial deputies, representing 18% of the total.

The Parity Observatory also evaluates the respect of the commitments entered into by the government. Through an ?Instrument panel? many areas are monitored, such as the effectiveness of national gender policies and the implementation of parity in national, provincial and local institutions, and their impact on the demarginalisation the women.

For Ms. Mawanzo, a table will indicate the fields in which the government has made progress, and the fields of implementation in which gaps exist.

?The Parity Observatory will periodically publish the results of this evaluation and will also highlight best practices,? she added.

However, the objective of the Observatory is not limited to publishing reports on the disparities between men and women, announced Ms. Mawanzo. It intends to make pleas aimed at installing particular laws relating to the parity and promotion of women in political and state institutions.

The Observatory is also meant, according to its director, to sensitise the public on the issues related to equality between the sexes, by presenting alternatives in the form of good practices, both national and international.

Moreover, it also makes it possible for women to express themselves on the question of inequalities between the sexes, as regards political, economic and social participation, as well as equality in education, family and social life.

The Observatory works in partnership with; the national organisation in charge of female promotion on gender issues (CONFIDA), the National Institute of Statistics, NGOs that promote women's rights, the Independent Electoral Commission as well as UN Agencies including UNIFEM, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, BNUDH and MONUC's Gender division.

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