By Maureen Omondi

WE WANT DEMOCRACY!

Join hands with FEMNET and help raise voices as we emphasize the importance of women’s role in Democracy in Africa.

Democracy is a system through which all citizens have a right to participate in their governance from all levels; be it at international, regional, national, local and even at family level.

The Rule of Law is paramount in fostering democracy and good governance in every nation. Unfortunately those required to promote the Rule of Law and Justice are the very same people who are the perpetuators of injustice and the promoters of conflict and electoral related violence.

There should be comprehensive civic education educating both women and men about their role in the governance and development of Africa, so that they take up their positions at the center rather than being kept at the sidelines.

As we celebrate Democracy Day on September 15th, and Right to Know Day on September 28th, 2011, we have high hopes that Africa is becoming a more democratic space for its citizenry.

'We Want Democracy'

The African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance (ACDEG)

The African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance (ACDEG) was adopted by the 8th ordinary session of the African Union (AU) assembly, held in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2007. The document must be ratified by 15 states before it actually enters into effect. It was developed as part of the African Union’s stated emphasis on promoting democracy and good governance in member states. It also draws reference from the 1981 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. It has the potential to serve as a guide & reference point for sustained and ongoing political reform on the continent.

 At FEMNET, Freedom of Information & Democracy – are critical principles of development and enjoyment of human rights especially women’s rights.

 FEMNET believes that a low level of literacy is a barrier to Democracy and affects effective and meaningful participation and enjoyment of Democratic space!

 At FEMNET, we know for a fact that – appreciation of Democracy cannot be enriched in our society without continuous, gender sensitive civic education.

 FEMNET understands that Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their full participation in all aspects of their lives, and that it can only exist where there is equal participation of both men and women.

In honor of International Democracy Day, FEMNET urges you all to talk to your Members of Parliament and urge them to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance which is not yet in force. Ten (10) countries have ratified, five (5) more countries need to do so before it is enforceable.

Write to prog-associate@femnet.or.ke for a copy of the Charter

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