In 2003, African governments adopted the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, also known as The Maputo Protocol. Heads of states agreed to use The Maputo Protocol as the blue print for the total emancipation, respect and protection of women in Africa. While some progress has been made, 13 years on, our governments are far from fully embracing the ideals, or realizing the vision of The Maputo Protocol. What’s more, millions of Africans are not even aware that the Maputo Protocol exists, making it impossible to demand accountability when they do not even know what their governments have committed to doing.
This year, the African Union declared 2016 the “African Year of Human rights With a Special Focus On Women’s Rights”. What does this mean? The AU recognizes that achieving equality, eliminating all forms of discrimination, and fully upholding and protecting the rights of women that are enshrined in the Maputo Protocol, must be a priority for Africa. Africa’s social, political, and economic development depends on the protection and liberation of women who make up over half of her population.
African governments will be meeting again at the next African Union Summit in Kigali this July. African women are urging you to join this campaign to ensure that our governments go beyond the rhetoric this time and take significant steps to fulfill all the promises in the Maputo Protocol. Take action NOW and advocate for the full implementation of the Maputo Protocol in your country.
Prior to, during and after the AU Summit, FEMNET members and partners will be leveraging on the power of digital and social media to reach out and speak with one voice for African women and girls. We invite you to use whatever platform, language, tool, approach, spaces, networks, and influence you have to demand that our governments #FollowTheProtocol. This is the year of the African woman. Let us make it count!
Has your country ratified and implemented the Maputo Protocol?
Take Action NOW and tell your government to #FollowtheProtocol!