ADDIS ABABA, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Empowerment of women is critical for the development of future generations in Africa, according to Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the outgoing Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).
The AUC Chairperson made the remarks while commemorating the International Women's Day in a ceremony held on Wednesday at the African Union's headquarter in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
"At all levels, empowerment of women is critical. Critical not only for them but also for future generations, because those kids would have the same fate if their mothers went working." she said.
The outgoing chairperson further emphasized the importance to celebrate the determination of women around the world for equal rights and have women's voices heard.
"There are still struggles even at work places that women have to go through, such as the conditions of work, sometimes sexual harassment and less pay for equal work," she said. "These are the struggles that we have to look at."
The Pan-African block joined the international community to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also reviewing past progress of women's development and looking ahead at future opportunities for women in the African continent.
"Women's Day is an opportunity for the African Union to consider what it will take for African women, especially young girls to succeed in the changing world of work," said Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, Director for Women, Gender and Development at AUC.
The international women's day celebration creates an opportunity for women and men to come together and organize themselves for social transformation on values and principles that ensure enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, she said.
The AU has also honored African women -- past and present -- for their contributions to the struggle for independence, the end of apartheid and the establishment of the OAU/AU.
This year's African Union's International Women's Day commemoration was celebrated with a theme "African Women, Especially Young Women Succeeding in the Changing World of Work: 50:50 by 2063." Enditem