South Africa and Union of the Comoros co-host the Third African Union Men’s Conference

Media Statement


27 November 2023


South Africa and Union of the Comoros co-host the Third African Union Men’s Conference


President Cyril Ramaphosa, together with AU Chairperson and President Azali Assoumani of the Union of the Comoros, will on Tuesday, 28 November 2023 co-host the African Union (AU) Third Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence Against Women and Girls.


South Africa and the Union of Comoros is co-hosting the conference on 27 and 28 November 2023 in Pretoria under the theme: “Accelerating Commitments Towards the African Union Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls”.


It is also hosted in collaboration with the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) and the Circle of Champions on Positive Masculinity, which includes prominent African leaders.


The conference hosted annually by AU Chairpersons provides a platform that brings together influential leaders from various sectors, including Heads of State and key decision-makers in Africa, instrumental in pushing the agenda for gender equality and ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) to the highest levels of African Union (AU) policymaking.


A focus on deepening an understanding of structural drivers of violence against women and girls on the continent is four-fold, including:


  • It serves to emphasise the importance of harnessing law and policy as instruments to accelerate changes that protect women and girls from violence and uphold their rights to life, security, freedom, dignity and physical and emotional integrity.
  • It makes the strategic linkages between the lack of economic and financial inclusion with vulnerability to violence and as a form of structural violence itself.
  • It develops an African compendium of evidenced-based interventions to prevent violence against women and girls.
  • It provides a framework to deeply explore harmful social norms relating to masculinity and violence that have resulted in the normative character of violence – permissive societies across the continent.


The conference will provide an opportunity to consolidate the bold efforts that the Heads of State and other sectors have taken towards Ending Violence Against Women and Girls on the continent including accountability for the implementation of the Kinshasa Declaration and the decisions made at the 2023 February Heads of State and Government Conference, to negotiate an AU Convention on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.


The expected outcomes of the conference, includes:


  • Review the status of implementation of the outcomes of the First- and Second-Men’s Conferences.
  • Table recommendations of the multi-stakeholder consultations for the content of a draft AU EVAWG Convention.
  • Consider the Common Africa Position on Positive Masculinity.
  • Share evidence-based African interventions that address women and girls’ economic and social vulnerability.
  • Adopt the outcome document of the 3rd Men’s Conference.


Today, 27 November 2023, the programme included an opening ceremony and plenary sessions on Accelerating Efforts Towards an AU Convention Towards Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and also Towards a Framework for defining Positive Masculinity in Africa.


The Heads of State and Government in attendance will on 28 November 2023 deliver country statements during the Leader’s session.


President Ramaphosa and President Assoumani will be joined by President Sahle-Work Zewde of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Republic of Liberia and virtually by Former President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim of the Republic of Mauritius and Former Interim President of the Central African Republic, Ms Catherine Samba-Panza.


The conference is preceded by stakeholder consultations with various groups, including women leaders, youth, traditional and religious leaders, civil society organisations, academia, and the private sector to amongst others, reflect on previous commitments and explore ways to strengthen the response to VAWG in Africa through the EVAWG Convention and the Common Africa Position on Positive Masculinity.


The hosting of the conference in South Africa also coincides with the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign held annually from 25 November to 10 December. The campaign is this year observed under the theme: “Accelerating actions to end gender-based violence & femicide: leaving no one behind“.


The Heads of State and Government Session will take place as:


Date: Tuesday, 28 November 2023

Time: 09h00

Venue: Department of International Relations and Cooperation, OR Tambo Building, 460 Soutpansberg Road, Pretoria




DSDTV is the official host broadcaster for the conference and will provide feed to media. Contact person Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067.


The conference will be live streamed on Government platforms and PresidencyZA digital platforms.


Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President –


Issued by: The Presidency