The Network of Women Parliamentarians of Central Africa (RFPAC) was established in March 2002 on the request of women parliamentarians attending an AWEPA conference in the region. With AWEPA’s assistance, RFPAC has since formed all-women parliamentarian platforms that gather at least once a year. The network includes women parliamentarians from Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Republic of Congo.
The network statutes assimilate key statements such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the UN Resolution 1325 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
RFPAC aims to contribute to the political, economic and social promotion of Central African women, the construction of a gender balanced democracy, the enhancement of women’s representation, the preservation of peace and the implementation of impartial justice. RFPAC seeks to accomplish these goals through strengthening and supporting women parliamentarians in their legislative, executive oversight, and constituent’s representation functions; and representing the voice of women in their countries. Through the RFPAC programme, AWEPA aims to improve the position of all women in the region, by supporting women candidates in elections, encouraging women’s economic prosperity and enhancing the capacity of women.
The following outcomes can be attributed to actions carried out in 2012 as part of the RFPAC-AWEPA programme:
- Guidelines for parliamentarians on abandoning Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, produced together with Pan-African Parliament’s Women Caucus, were finalized and distributed by women parliamentarians for use in Central African parliaments;
- women parliamentarians drafted a plan of action to implement regional and national strategies of accountability directed toward future generations, with regard to MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women through education;
- workshops empowered women parliamentarians and strengthened their roles within their national parliaments; they succeeded in bringing gender-related topics to their home parliament’s national agenda;
- women parliamentarians succeeded in integrating gender into the AWEPA organised seminar on Managing Africa’s natural resources towards achieving the MDGs, held in Rome in September 2012.