UNDP - United Nations Development Programme India

06/19/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2022 14:17

Implementation of the Maputo Protocol boosted with training on the situation of the rights of women and girls in Africa

19 May 2022, Addis Ababa - Despite progressive policy commitments and institutional frameworks, implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) remains slow and inconsistent. As such, accountability for and tracking of implementation of these commitments remains a major challenge in Africa.

UNDP, in partnership with Equality Now/Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR), conducted a virtual training on the "Drafting and Submission of Periodic Reports on the Situation of the Rights of Women and Girls in Africa". The three-day training session took place from 11-13 April 2022 and was attended by representatives of 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) and women's rights movements.

The training helped participants understand reporting obligations and processes, including how to prepare shadow reports on women's rights issues. It equipped civil society organizations with the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate with Member States to prepare and submit periodic reports under the Maputo Protocol and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

As a platform to reflect on and share practical experiences of CSO efforts to draft and submit shadow reports, the workshop also served as an opportunity to pre-test a draft training manual on "Shadow and Alternative Reporting on Women's Rights in Africa". Shadow reports allow CSOs and women's rights organizations to provide alternative information to treaty monitoring bodies and countries on issues and gaps that need to be addressed.

Tabu Jimmy, a Gender Programme Specialist at the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa (RSCA), noted that "Significant improvements have been realized in the adoption of global and regional human rights instruments and policies, including the Maputo Protocol. However, much remains to be done. For instance, despite their progress in domesticating the Maputo protocol, the majority of African countries do not report on progress made in the implementation to the relevant organs, such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)."

"The Maputo Protocol and CEDAW provide the rights that women and girls are entitled to in different countries, providing standards for countries to meet" added Faiza Mohamed, Director of the Equality Now Africa Office.

This capacity-building initiative is a key programme component of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP), a multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls (EVAWG). The SIARP addresses regional bottlenecks and supports regional commitments toward EVAWG, including strengthening existing strategies and initiatives.