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Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, A/HRC/29/27, 10 June 2015

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13. Concrete efforts to lobby for a specific instrument on women’s rights began in 1995, largely led by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the field of women’s rights. The first Special Rapporteur on Rights of Women in Africa was appointed in 1999; she supported the efforts of NGOs to develop a protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the rights of women. A minimalist approach was adopted by member States in addressing the inadequacies of the Charter. The agreement was to adopt a protocol, as opposed to a separate treaty with its own monitoring body. During the negotiations, certain draft provisions were contentious, for example, those on polygamy, harmful traditional practices, sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination, and women’s right to control their fertility.[7] The draft protocol was finalized by a team of government experts, and adopted by the Assembly of the African Union in July 2003. It entered into force in 2005.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRVAW-2015-eng

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 7. Rachel Rebouché, “Health and reproductive rights in the Protocol to the African Charter: competing influences and unsettling questions”, Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, vol. 16 (2009).