The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), together with affiliated regional civil society organisations are pushing for the enactment of a gender equality and development bill in the East African Community.
This is part of advocacy efforts to protect and promote gender equality and women rights within the region, where the activists have called for the bill that will help accelerate implementation of the different international instruments to which the EAC partner states assented.
While the EAC partner states signed and ratified various regional and international instruments relating to gender equality and women's rights, efforts to implement them are sometimes insufficient.
According to Christine Nankubuge, the programme's director at EASSI, the bill on gender equality and development was initiated after realising that there was a slow implementation of some of the commitments and no official agreement to hold members accountable.
"EAC partner states signed to other instruments of international treaties and when we were asking ourselves where we are in terms of realising women's rights and gender equality, we found that there was no legally binding agreement to hold partner states accountable. This is how we started the campaign for having a gender equality and development protocol," she said during the national validation meeting of the Rwanda Baseline Barometer Report.