Exclusive: The ‘professional apartheid’ sidelining women at the African Union | News | Africa

Simon Allison in Addis Ababa

When Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma left the African Union Commission, she did so to mixed reviews. But most analysts agreed that she had succeeded, where others had failed, in putting gender equality at the heart of the AU’s agenda — on paper at least.

But within the commission itself, discrimination against women employees is routine, according to internal memos obtained by the Mail & Guardian from a diplomatic source.

“We, female employees of the AU Commission, are totally appalled by the entrenchment of professional apartheid against female employees in the commission,” according to one memo, dated January 25 and addressed to the new AU chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

It is signed by 37 women.

The memo speaks of ill-treatment and humiliation. “Morale across…

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