Women human rights defenders work tirelessly to uphold, promote, and secure the rights of women and girls and society as a whole. They have contributed significantly to the progress made so far in achieving gender equality and the enjoyment of human rights. A safe and enabling work environment for women human rights defenders is necessary for their work to be impactful.
The Guide and Guidelines on the Protection of Women Human Rights Defenders in Africa acts as an information resource and sets out the legal and policy framework that guarantees the rights of women human rights defenders and establishes obligations to respect, promote and fulfil these rights by African States. Importantly, it sets out opportunities and approaches that African States and the African Union human rights institutions could apply nationally and in regional deliberations and engagements to strengthen legal frameworks on the protection of women human rights defenders. It provides practical advice on steps that can lead to the adoption of effective measures for the protection of women human rights defenders through holistic, gender-responsive legislative, policy and administrative measures.
In addition, the Guide also serves as a tool for human rights defenders and those who support their work, protection, and safety to inform their advocacy strategies to promote the implementation of State obligations towards the rights of women human rights defenders.
It is hoped that States can use the information in this Guide and Guidelines to design their country-specific legal and administrative measures and strategies to fulfil their commitments to protect human rights defenders.