Africa Women Rising! The quest for tax and gender justice




Public Services International (PSI) in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung African Union Cooperation Office (FES AU) organized an Africa Regional Women’s Tax Justice Conference on 5-6 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The meeting brought together CSOs including Global Alliance for Tax Justice and its Africa regional network member, Tax Justice Network Africa, FEMNET, ITUC Africa, Action-aid, Oxfam, SEATINI, ICRICT, FEMNET, UNECA, PALU, AUDEA, BEPS monitoring group and PSI affiliates from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Swaziland and South Africa.

The two days’ workshop employed the use of presentations, group work and panel discussions. Each session was handled by a facilitator and a panel. There were five issues/topics for discussions each day.

This was against the background that the fight against corporate theft and the call to an end illicit financial flows (IFFs) out of the continent of Africa has a direct relationship with the call for effective public service development and delivery, achievement of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the fight against privatization of public services such as water, health, education and energy.

“How does tax policy impact women’s right?” @CarolineOthim #taxjustice4women

— Daniel Oberko (@danieloberko) September 5, 2018

As women bear most of the negative impact of inequality, poverty and poor public services, GATJ, PSI, TJN together with its partners organized the first global meeting on tax justice for women’s rights in Bogota, Colombia in June 2017. It brought together a community of women, including African women, to discuss issues of tax, human rights and women’s role in these matters. The meeting, among other things developed more than 10 recommendations for tax reforms which provide opportunity for leveraging and tackling national, sub-regional and regional tax justice campaigns focused on women.

“Discussions on IFFs is largely gender blind “@crystalsimeoni

— Daniel Oberko (@danieloberko) September 5, 2018

The objective of the conference was to expand and consolidate the tax justice campaign in the region by strengthening advocates who can contribute to the national and regional tax justice campaigns and pursue a women-specific tax agenda. The conference also aimed to develop recommendations for a gendered tax justice agenda, strategies to ensure these recommendations are carried out by national governments, the AU, other regional and sub-regional bodies, and create a network of CSOs to fight against IFFs with international solidarity.

The specific objectives included:

  1. Increased knowledge and awareness among participants of tax justice for women’s rights and wider IFF issues.
  2. Shared understanding of what the most important women and tax issues in Africa are, and how these can be collectively addressed.
  3. Opportunity to network with, and gain support from national and international CSOs to fight against IFFs and promote tax justice for women’s rights

Some of the conference outputs include:

  1. A joint campaign strategy that will ensure women’s role becomes part of the national and regional tax justice agenda.
  2. A workshop report including discussions that led to the adoption of the joint campaign strategy, roles of each organization present at the meeting and future steps in building a network of CSOs from African countries. This strategy will consolidate the efforts of the Stop the bleeding campaign.
  3. A list of recommendations for a gendered tax justice agenda to the African Union Commission, national governments and RECs.

For more information contact Daniel Oberko, the PSI Tax Justice Officer.

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