“Women’s rights have been recognized and guaranteed in all international human rights instruments, in particular in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and all other international and regional conventions and agreements that relate to women’s rights as inalienable, interdependent and indivisible human rights. “
African Charter on Women’s Rights in Africa
The African Union recognizes that women in Africa still face many problems that continue to negatively affect their enjoyment of various human rights, such as lack of access to land and other productive resources.
Since July 2003, when the member states of the African Union signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol).
The African continent is committed to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Almost all countries have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; By March 2021, a total of forty-two (42) of the 55 member states of the AU had ratified the protocol on the African Charter of Human and International Rights on the rights of women in Africa.
However, many countries have ratified, domesticated, and even enacted national laws that border on the issues covered in the Maputo Protocol, and reporting remains a challenge. This is because there is a lack of an effective framework and means to measure the performance of Member States and hold them accountable for the commitments and expectations of the Protocol.
With 42 member states ratifying the Maputo Protocol in August 2021, the question arises of how the impact of the various mechanisms can be assessed to ensure successful compliance and implementation of all Articles of the Maputo Protocol.
The introduction of institutional scorecards and an index framework for gender mainstreaming (or gender scorecards) are one form of ongoing reviews to promote gender equality.
This concept is a management and planning tool that examines the quality and effectiveness of gender-based national practices and systems, and enables countries to fully review the status of their gender mainstreaming practices and assess what is working or not and what gaps need to be filled .
In support of the member states, the African Union is leading the re-prioritization and shifting of focus to the implementation and monitoring of the Maputo Protocol through the implementation of the Maputo Protocol Scorecard and Index (MPSI).
The Maputo Protocol Scorecard and Index (MPSI) aims to promote compliance and accountability for the implementation of continental treaties on women’s rights.
Developed with the support of the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) and Plan International (PI), the MPSI is an innovative contribution to the tools aimed at improving accountability and progress made by Member States in implementing gender equality, women’s rights and commitments to empower women under the Maputo Protocol.
In particular, the MPSI aims to develop and support the implementation of a measurable and accurate scorecard and index framework for the Maputo Protocol as a performance measurement tool for the Member States, as well as to provide gender-disaggregated data and information on the status of gender equality for the effective generation of more appropriate gender equality Policies and other initiatives.
The MPSI is particularly important in the context of COVID-19 as it will monitor Member States’ compliance with the Maputo Protocol during the crisis, identify gaps and develop implementation strategies to promote and protect women’s rights during contingency operations and in long-term recovery plans. It will also improve knowledge of the problems and concerns of African women through analysis and visibility.
The Maputo Protocol Scorecard and Index (MPSI) aims to provide a platform of transparency and accountability for the implementation of the Maputo Protocol and to expedite the implementation of the Maputo Protocol, thereby addressing the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic Reduce women and girls across Africa.
The MPSI covers Articles 2 to 26 of the Maputo Protocol, which require action by Member States.
It adopts reporting guidelines from the African Commission on Human Rights and People’s Rights (ACPHR), which have produced indices on the following topics: elimination of discrimination, protection of women from violence, rights related to marriage, health and reproductive rights, economic, social and cultural rights, right to peace, protection of women in armed conflict, rights of the specially protected women’s group and legal remedies, implementation and monitoring.
The most important advantages that can be derived from the effective implementation of the MPSI include, among other things, that it:
- Serve as an emergency measure to ensure the implementation of women’s rights during COVID 19 and to be an effective long-term recovery plan beyond the pandemic.
- Assisting Member States in fulfilling their reporting obligations under the Maputo Protocol.
- Underline the different obligations and responsibilities of Member States in implementing the Protocol.
- Serving as a performance appraisal tool for Member States and as a space for sharing good practice to be replicated across the continent.
- Providing opportunities for Member States and non-state actors to build their capacities to promote the effective implementation of the Articles of the Protocol.
- Provide advocacy opportunities for member states and non-state actors to ensure that identified implementation gaps are closed.
- Providing an evidence-based feedback mechanism between the Member States and the African Union Commission and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Countries that have ratified the Protocol are encouraged to make increasing use of the Maputo Protocol and the Score Card Index to ensure that accurate data and information are recorded, which in turn ensure the protection of women and girls’ rights.
The ratification of the Maputo Protocol by the remaining 13 countries and the fact that few countries gradually domesticate and implement the Protocol are a reminder of the need to promote greater engagement by policy makers and public awareness and participation in the Increase implementation of policies and programs This will advance the objectives of the Maputo Protocol and ensure that future generations of Africans can enjoy gender equality and live in societies where all citizens are empowered to reach their full potential.
Learn about the African Union’s strategies and guidance instruments that focus on achieving gender equality and empowering women in all areas of life in Africa, including developing and implementing policies and programs to address issues of the African Union Address the rights of women and girls, advocate their protection and prohibit violence and harmful practices, as well as other social norms that disempower women and girls.
These include,the AU Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Women’s Rights in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA ) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
About the African Union.
The African Union (AU) is a continental body made up of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent. The AU is guided by its vision, “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and a dynamic force in the global arena.”
In order to ensure the realization of its goals and the realization of the pan-African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, Agenda 2063 was developed as a strategic framework for the long-term socio-economic and inclusive transformation of Africa.
The 2063 Agenda calls for greater cooperation and support for African-led initiatives to ensure that the aspirations of the African people are achieved. Find out more about the African Union and the 2063 Agenda at www.au.int
The Directorate for Women, Gender and Youth of the African Union Commission is responsible for leading, instructing, defending and coordinating the AU’s efforts to promote gender equality and development and to promote the empowerment of women and youth.