A brief history of PAWO

The Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) is a women’s organization that was founded in 1962 (in Tanzania), a year before the founding of the Organization of African Unity (this means that PAWO is one year older than the AU) to bring together African women’s organizations in a single platform for sharing good practices and for joint action to promote human rights and gender equality. PAWO has enabled substantial progress to be made concerning women’s rights and recognition of their role in society, working with other international women’s organizations.

After independence of African countries, despite the artificial barriers of languages, political opinions, prevailing all contradictions, African Women decided to unite, to form one association to better get to know each other in order to share their experiences, combine their effort for the emancipation of African Women in view of their integration in the future of the African continent. Mrs Assetou Koite is the current Present of the Pan African Women’s Organisation

The total liberation of the African continent, the elimination of apartheid, and the institution of a joint justice as human beings became their priority. Thus, on the 31st July 1962, the Conference of African Women (CAF) was created at Dar es Salaam in Tanganyika now known as Tanzania, the first African Women Organization which became “Pan – African Women’s Organization” (PAWO) after the Congress of Dakar (Senegal) in July 1974 where the 31st July was designated African Women Day. The Constitutive congress comprises 14 independent countries and 10 national liberation movements.

PAWO is based since 2008 in Pretoria, South Africa. At its founding, PAWO was given an observer status in the African Union. The organisation receives material support and resources from the African Union and in turn, supports programs undertaken by the AU.