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UN Meeting: Women's rights ministers in Kinshasa

African Great Lakes officials at UN gathering on women's rights research centre

24 July 2008 - Women's rights ministers from 11 countries across Africa's Great Lakes region are gathering today in Kinshasa for a United Nations-organized conference to take steps to set up a regional research and documentation centre on women's rights.

The two-day meeting in the Congolese capital, jointly organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Ministry of Women's Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), will also be attended by representatives of the African Union, the African Bank of Development and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, as well as several UN agencies.

If established, the research centre in the Great Lakes region will be modelled on a similar women's rights centre created in 2006 in Ramallah in the occupied Palestinian territory, also at the initiative of UNESCO.

The Great Lakes centre would have a particular focus on the role of women in the reconstruction of countries emerging from conflict, which has plagued the region.

Women's rights ministers from Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Republic of Congo, the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are expected to attend this week's conference.


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