With welcome remarks delivered by Ms. Nazneen Damji, UN Women Policy Advisor on Gender Equality and HIV, UN Women Country Representative in Liberia Ms Kathy Mangones chaired the opening sessions on behalf of Regional Directors for UN Women in West and Central Africa and in Eastern and Southern Africa. Keynote speakers Ms Soyata Maiga and Ms Lucy Asuagbor, commissioners from the African Commission on Human and People's, reaffirmed in their remarks the important role and work of the Commission in ensuring that women's rights are fully protected across member states and on the continent, especially in the context of HIV and property and inheritance rights. In the morning session, several of the grantees' presentations shared results, innovative work, best practices, lessons learned, challenges and gaps.

  • Ms Kathy Sheelagh Mangones: UN Women's report, Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice, shows that well functioning legal and justice systems can be a vital mechanism for women to achieve their rights. They can shape society by providing accountability. If countries do not legislate against discrimination against women, if these laws are not implemented and enforced and if women cannot access legal services or do not know what their rights are under the law, then violations continue.
  • Ms Soyata Maiga: Notre combat pour les prochaines années, avec vous et tous les autres acteurs c'est de gagner la bataille de la mise en oeuvre effective des dispositions pertinentes du protocole de Maputo, a travers notamment l'adoption de lois sur le droit de la famille ou tout commence, les droits civils, politiques et économiques, de succession, des régimes matrimoniaux, et qui soient non contradictoires, conformes aux dispositions du protocole, et protectrices des droits des femmes et des filles au sein de la famille, de la communauté et sur le lieu du travail, et particulierement dans le cadre de la protection des femmes vivant avec le VIH SIDA.
  • Ms Lucy Asuagnor: In Africa, when a woman is protected, a whole nation is protected. African nations are rising and strengthening their responses to the discriminatory practices that still exist across the continent.