85: Resolution on the Status of Women in Africa and the Entry into Force of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights meeting at its 38th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia from 21 November to 5 December 2005:

    Recalling the commitments of the Heads of States and Governments in the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa made during the 3rd Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 6 – 8 July 2004;

    Noting with appreciation the election in Liberia of the first female President in Africa;

    Further noting with appreciation the Member States of the African Union that have ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa which entered into force on 25 November 2005, namely Benin, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Republic of South Africa, Senegal and Togo;

    Recognizing that women in Africa continue to be subject to discriminatory laws and practices;

    Reiterating its commitment to continue working to promote the rights of women in Africa;

    1.  Congratulates all women in Africa on the occasion of the historic and speedy entry into force of the Protocol;

    2.  Congratulates the Liberian people on the election, in November 2005, of the first female President in Africa, Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf;

    3.  Urges Member States of the African Union that have not already done so to urgently ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa without reservations and to remove reservations where these have been included;

    4.  Further urges Member States that have already ratified this Protocol to immediately undertake measures for domestication, including the amendment of internal laws to conform with the provisions of the Protocol;

    5.  Encourages Member States to increase the participation of women in peacekeeping initiatives in the continent;

    6.  Calls on Member States to implement strategies, including affirmative action, to ensure that women can attain the highest levels of education and leadership in governance;

    7.  Urges Member States to respect their commitments under the CEDAW and the Beijing Platform of Action and urgently repeal or amend all laws and policies and eradicate all practices that are discriminatory against women;

    8.  Urges Member States, the African Union and international organisations to provide more support to the work of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women.


    Done at Banjul, The Gambia, 5th December.

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