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What we have done

Networking and Coordination

EGDC has supported the creation and coordination of three regional networks:

  • Network on Peace and Security for Women in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO)
  • West African Network of Young Women Leaders (ROAJELF – Reseau ouest africain des jeunes femmes leaders) Network
  • Association of ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians (ECOFEPA) .

Capacity-building through Training and Awareness Raising

EGDC has developed training tools to transfer knowledge and build skills on gender and development, including:


  • Gender Training Manual (1st and 2nd editions)
  • Training Manual on Gender, Peace and Security in collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, WIPSEN Africa and German Technical Cooperation

We have built capacity in gender analysis and promoted gender mainstreaming through:

  • National Gender Training Workshops in all 15 ECOWAS Member states
  • Gender training for ECOWAS parliamentarians
  • Gender training for honourable judges and staff of the Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS
  • Training in female entrepreneurship
  • Training in project management
  • Training gender-responsive budgeting
  • ICT Training for EGDC focal points

We have also held numerous workshops including:

  • Women’s Leadership Training Workshop (Dakar 2007)
  • Regional Training Workshop on Project Identification, Formulation and Management for Women Entrepreneurs (Lomé 2007)
  • Workshop for the Sensitization of ECOWAS Parliamentarians on Gender and Advocacy (Banjul 2008)
  • Training Workshop on Gender Analysis and Integration for ECOWAS Commission Directors (Abuja 2008)

Development Programmes

EGDC works to achieve gender equality through programmes in health, education, economic empowerment and technical support that target women. We have launched programmes to:

  • Offer medical care and social reintegration support to women suffering from obstetric fistula in the ECOWAS region
  • Award scholarships of excellence to young girls in the 15 Member States
  • Provide women with technical and financial support to set up and manage their businesses
  • Provide technical support to national gender machineries


EGDC regularly undertakes studies on gender-related issues. Since 2004, we have carried out the following studies:

  • Prospective Study on Women’s Capacity Building within the Framework of the Regional Integration Process, 2004-2005
  • Study on the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme and Cross-Border Trade: Experiences of Women Traders and Entrepreneurs (1st phase 2007; 2nd phase 2009)
  • Analytical Study on the Identification of Gender-specific, Discriminatory Provisions and Disparities in Gender Equality in National Legislations of ECOWAS Member States, 2009


In collaboration with its partners, EGDC advocates for the effective implementation of existing commitments and mechanisms to ensure gender equality in the ECOWAS region. Since 2006, EGDC has organized the following consultations to achieve this aim:

  • Regional Consultation on Women’s Rights, in collaboration with UNIFEM and the Federation of African Women Lawyers in West Africa (Banjul 2006)
  • Regional Consultation on Gender and HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the West African Health Organization (Ouagadougou 2007)
  • Regional Forum on Peace and Networking among Women’s Organizations in the ECOWAS region (Accra 2007)
  • Regional Workshop for the adoption of an Advocacy Strategy on Women’s Rights (Banjul 2007)
  • Regional Consultation of Experts on the Promotion of Girls’ Education in West Africa, (Cotonou, 2008)
  • Regional Consultation with ECOWAS religious leaders, (Dakar, 2008)


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