African women have been at the forefront of shaping the global agenda for women’s rights from the 3rd World Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985 that resulted in the “Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies”. The 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 was chaired by a prominent African woman, Mrs. Gertrude Mongella, who alongside other African women ensured that the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’s (BDPfA) 12 critical areas of concern reflected priorities of African women and girls.
Over the last two decades, Africa has made tremendous strides in developing progressive frameworks to advance the rights of women on the Continent. This is evident from the adoption of the gender equality principle in the African Union’s (AU) Constitutive Act of 2002, the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa of 2003, and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa of 2004, to mention a few. At national and regional levels, significant progress has been made in such critical areas as: girls’ education, women’s political participation, maternal health, adoption of action plans on UN Security Council Resolution 1325, as well as laws and policies on violence against women, amongst others.[download id=”2790″]