First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa is today expected to address the Organisation of African First Ladies on HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) after the official opening ceremony of the 10th African Union heads of state and government summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The Zambian First Lady who is OAFLA Chairperson is expected to be among 41 First Ladies who will attend the OAFLA meeting on Violence against Women and Children.
This is according to the latest programme released by the AU Communications Centre and obtained by ZANIS at the AU Conference media centre in Addis Ababa.
The programme shows that Mrs Mwanawasa First Lady will address the meeting at 13:00 hours Zambian time.
During the meeting, survivors and victims are expected to share experiences on Female Genital Mutilation which is commonly practised in West Africa, early marriage and rape.
Others to make presentations will include the African Union senior representatives who will address the meeting on the continental body’s perspective on HIV/AIDS, gender equality and human rights.
At the same gathering which will be opened by Ethiopian First Lady Azeb Mesfin, local religious and community leaders will also share their experiences on violence against women and children and efforts being devised to prevent, respond and support these vulnerable groups from all forms of violence.
The gathering will be punctuated by a musical performance by designated performers known as Mela Belu.
South Africa’s medical practitioner Dr Biki Samuel Minyuku will also make a presentation on prevention, response and support regarding that country’s experience.
The meeting is aimed at promoting 365 days of ‘No Violence Against Women and Children.’
The African First Ladies will also pledge to act as champions and advocates to prevent violence against women and children.
Meanwhile, President Mwanawasa was yesterday afternoon among heads of state and government who attended the closed door session of the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, under the framework of the African Union 10th Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa.
The meeting started about 13:00 hours Zambian time and went on late into the afternoon.
Ethiopian Prime minister Meles Zenawi opened the meeting. Summit.