The African Union (AU) Commission, Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD) in collaboration with SOAWR (Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition), and UN Women are organizing a Meeting on Domestication and Implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa in Lilongwe, Malawi, from 11-13 August 2013 at the margins of the Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa to be held on 15th August 2013 in Lilongwe, Malawi.
This meeting will focus on African Member States that have been prioritized for 2013/2014 particularly those already trained under the multi-sectoral approach on using the Protocol across sectors at national level.
Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR), a coalition of 43 organizations based in 23 countries, and the AUC-WGDD have been working to advance women’s rights on the continent. The WGDD and SOAWR’s efforts aim at ensuring that the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (“the Protocol”) is ratified, domesticated, popularized and implemented in all African Union (AU) Member States.
The Protocol, which was adopted by Heads of State and Government in Maputo- Mozambique on 11 July 2003, is one of the most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments in the world. It contains innovative provisions on development, peace, violence against women, and sexual and reproductive health amongst other issues aimed at addressing contemporary African realities. In 2004, through the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, Heads of State and Government committed to ratify the Protocol as well as enhance and accelerate efforts to promote gender equality on the continent. Subsequently, by launching the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020) in October 2010, they renewed their commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, with a particular focus on the grassroots. Ten years on, 36 of the African Union’s 54 member states have ratified the Protocol.
The objectives of the 3 day meeting are:
- To prioritize actions for implementation of the AU Protocol on Women’s Rights
- To share progress, achievements and challenges experienced in implementing the Protocol
- To share best practices by countries that have started utilizing the MSA
- To review, share experience and discuss state reporting guidelines as required by the African Commission
- To highlight challenges faced in its implementation as well as brainstorm on how to address identified gaps and needs.
- To provide an overview of the Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA)
- To formulate action plans outlining Member States’ commitments to the domestication and implementation of the Protocol.
Action plans outlining AU Member States ‘commitments to the domestication and implementation of the protocol generated.
Strategies to build partnerships around the MSA at the national and regional levels identified
The meeting will bring together Senior Governmental Officials from Ministries responsible for Gender and women’s Affairs from AU Member States that have ratified the Protocol and been prioritized for 2013. Representatives of the AUC, UN Women and SOAWR will also attend.
(Source: African Union)