Ban hails AU condemnation of gender discriminationListen /
The recent decision by the African Union (AU) to condemn acts of discrimination and violence against individuals based on sexual orientation has been hailed by the UN Secretary-General.
Mr Ban Ki-moon made the remarks on Thursday at the 23rd African Union Summit in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.
He also commended the strong stance taken by the AU Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights with regard to intimidation and reprisals of human rights defenders.
Mr Ban added efforts had to be intensified to protect women from violence and secure their right to fully participate in all aspects of society on an equal basis with men.
A transformed Africa, he noted, will also need an empowered civil society, gender equality and respect for human rights.
The AU has recently declared 2016 as the "African Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women".
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.