Smail Chergui

The winds of change are finally blowing on the African Union’s most powerful body, the Peace and Security Council, whose chairman is undergoing a probe after members of the body accused him of sexism and gender discrimination.


The long-serving Smail Chergui of Algeria has been accused by women working at the council of discriminatory practices prejudicial to women within the council, Jeune Afrique magazine reported.


In an article published Wednesday August 15, the French-speaking magazine said that Chergui is subject to a probe led by Senegalese feminist Binta Diop, founder of Women Africa Solidarity NGO.


The probe comes after South Africa news outlet Mail & Guardian published a story entitled “Professional Apartheid” which is affecting dozen women at the African Union.


The paper noted that 37 AU employees complained last January to the Chairman of the AU commission Moussa Faki Mahamat of discriminatory practices and humiliation at work emanating from sexist colleagues.


As of February, the name of Smail Chergui emerged as the prime accused in another letter sent to Faki Mahamat. The letter was sent by five women working at the human resources department of the council chaired by Chergui.


The women in question have also blamed Chergui for clientelism in recruitment and disregard for meritocracy.