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Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders hosts the first Women’s Parliament at the House of Traditional Leaders

The Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders organised the first Women’s Parliament under the theme “Women rising to fight for a better life & good health to build a strong society within rural community”. The purpose of the session was to convene women particularly from rural communities to engage and debate on health related challenges faced by rural communities in the Eastern Cape Province, lack of access to resources, poor knowledge on health issues and the scourge of gender based violence. The Women’s Parliament creates a forum for women and youth to discuss and formulate strategies that will address community challenges caused by communicable diseases, lack of access to health facilities and promotion of good health for people living in rural communities. Amongst the participants were members of the National House of Traditional Leaders including its deputy Chairperson Chief N Mhlauli, Masimanyane Womens Support Centre, the Honourable Premier of the Eastern Cape (EC)  Mr Oscar Mabuyane, Honourable MEC for Health Ms. Sindiswa Gomba, Chairperson of Women’s Caucus, Commissioner for Gender Equality Ms. L Ntuli-Tloubatla, Women from Religious sector, Eastern Cape AIDS Council, UNFPA, a Survivor of violence Ms Zizo Apleni etc. The session was chaired by the Chairperson of EC House of Traditional Leaders Chief M Nonkonyana. The Honourable Premier called for a one-day session where men will discuss and formulate Eastern Cape strategies to address gender based violence led by the men’s sector.

The MEC for Health underscored that the National Health Insurance is the strategy to ensure health services reach populations living in rural areas, while UNFPA re-affirmed the commitment to work closer with the House of Traditional Leaders on the broader sexual and reproductive health and rights promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and adolescent girls. This will be done through working with the Traditional Leadership in ensuring its commitments for the ICPD agenda as part of the ICPD25+UNFPA@50 in preparation for The Nairobi Summit that will be held in Kenya, on 13-15 November 2019 and beyond. The Women’s Parliament  offers an inclusive platform to support regional, national and local commitments of the ICPD Programme of Action within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Chief Mavuso provided follow up actions and emphasized there will be district Women’s parliament and the provincial parliament will be convened annually.