JOHANNESBURG – The department in the Presidency responsible for women convened the first BRICS Senior Officials and Experts Meeting saying that there is "no inclusivity without gender equality".

The two-day meeting which took place in Pretoria on `Tuesday and Wednesday, was attended by delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and sought to develop a common approach to the development of the proposed BRICS Women's Forum.

"The meeting noted that, despite progress in advancing the status of women, gender inequality persisted in BRICS countries and across the globe," the department in the Presidency responsible for women.  

"The BRICS Women’s Forum could provide an important platform to exchange best practices and forge partnerships across BRICS countries to promote women’s advancement.  Among its key objectives would be the promotion of women’s full participation in political, social and economic life and promote women’s issues within the broader BRICS agenda."

Acting Director-General of the Department of Women, Annette Griessel said the forum's aim was to identify the common challenges facing women.

"The BRICS Women’s Forum aims to identify common challenges facing women and share best practice in responding to gender inequalities at a socio-economic level as well as to improve women’s participation in decision-making and leadership," Griessel said.

The forum is to further help ensure that BRICS countries accelerate the implementation of international obligations and commitments.

"The two-day meeting was able to finalise a concept note on the establishment of a BRICS Women’s Forum which would be taken to all governments for further consideration. Among the identified priority areas for further deliberations were women in leadership and decision-making; poverty eradication; the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls; women’s economic empowerment; health and education." 

This gathering followed the 10th BRICS Summit held in Johannesburg in July, which looked to collaborate for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Brazil will be chairing BRICS in 2019.

African News Agency (ANA)