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The ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC) is an ECOWAS specialized agency on gender and development set up during the 26th Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, held in Dakar in 2003 by Decision A/DEC.16/01.03. ECOWAS considers gender equality an engine of regional integration and a full-fledged development objective.

This recognition is reflected in Article 63 of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty that calls on “Member States to formulate, harmonize, coordinate and implement the appropriate policies and mechanisms to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of women.”

The ECOWAS Commission set up an institutional framework for the promotion of gender equality.

  • 2003: Creation of the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre
  • 2004: Adoption of the ECOWAS Gender Policy
  • 2005: Adoption of the Gender Management System
  • 2007: Creation of the Office of the Commissioner Human Development and Gender
  • 2007:  The transformation of the Gender, Youth, CSO, Employment, Drug Control Division into a Directorate

Since its creation, EGDC has adopted the following tools:

  • 2004: Adoption of the EGDC Action Plan 2005-2007
  • 2008: Adoption of the EGDC Strategic Plan 2009-2013
  • 2010: Adoption of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820

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H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission1