Learn about Equality Now's contributions to the African Union's Women's Rights Protocol.
One of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (‘The Maputo Protocol’) was adopted by Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003.
The Maputo Protocol Advances African Women’s Rights
The Protocol guarantees extensive rights to African women and girls and includes progressive provisions on:
- Harmful traditional practices, eg “child marriage” and female genital mutilation (FGM)
- Reproductive health and rights
- Roles in political processes
- Economic empowerment
- Ending violence against women
Equality Now is proud to be the Secretariat of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition (SOAWR), a network of 50 national, regional and international civil society organizations in 24 countries promoting the rights of African women and girls through the Protocol.
Since The Maputo Protocol came into force in 2005, 49 of the 54 African Union Member States have signed on, and 37 have ratified it. The Protocol has one of the highest number of ratifications for an instrument in the African Union.
With significant contributions from Equality Now to strengthen and promote the Protocol, the SOAWR Coalition has made huge strides for equality: