As part of an international partnership to improve the rights of women and girls across the African continent, KIT led a research team to develop the State of African Women Report. The report raises awareness of continental-African commitments to women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and progress in their implementation.
Realising women and girls’ rights
The State of African Women Report focuses on the implementation of the Maputo Protocol (‘Protocol to the African Charter on Human’s and Peoples’ Rights) and the Maputo Plan of Action (the implementation plan for the Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights).
The Report aims to raise local and international awareness about these two key African commitments, track progress in their implementation, and identify gaps and contested issues. It also provides the evidence base for an international campaign to advance women and girls’ rights in SRHR in Africa, the Right By Her campaign.
The report focuses on four rights areas:
- Gender-based violence against women
- Harmful practices (especially child marriage and female genital mutilation)
- Reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health, and
- HIV and AIDS
It also looks into the role that Regional Economic Communities in Africa play in advancing women and girls’ rights in SRHR. For each of the four rights areas, it looks at legal, policy and institutional reform at the national level across the continent. The report also includes 33 case studies of civil society organisations and coalitions, regional organisations and initiatives, and national-level legal and policy reform processes.
Launching the report
The State of African Women report was launched during the ‘Africa Regional Dialogue on advancing gender equality and rights’ on July 2nd 2018. The launch inspired over 150 participants from across the African continent and was key to explaining two main issues: deliberations on strengthened civil-society engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development; and, Aspiration 6 of Africa’s Agenda 2063.
"The State of African Women report was launched during the ‘Africa Regional Dialogue on advancing gender equality and rights’ on July 2nd 2018. The launch inspired over 150 participants from across the African continent and was key to explaining two main issues: deliberations on strengthened civil-society engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development; and, Aspiration 6 of Africa’s Agenda 2063."
“This State of African Women report is a big asset for advocacy in Africa on women and girls’ rights. It raises awareness of the strong African commitments, and points to current and emerging gaps - the unfinished business- in the broad field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The report assists us in pushing the boundaries for implementation, by generating greater transparency on the domestication of Africa’s progressive continental commitments.”
“The African Union’s Maputo Protocol enshrines women and girls’ human rights. KIT’s ground-breaking research analyses how these rights are realized across Africa. The State of African Women report aptly assesses the co-existing right regimes such as religious law, customary law and living law which present dilemmas in realisation of human rights. The report’s case studies help understand different stakeholders’ contributions to reduce the gap between commitments and actual practice. As a global interfaith network of more than 100 Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu and Muslim faith organisations, Faith to Action Network’s welcomes this report. In communicating its findings to faith leaders, we will be as always guided by respect and sensitivity in promoting terminology adapted to different cultural and religious contexts. The Network recognises that faith organisations’ acceptance of informed content can help secure, realize and extend human rights including those of millions of women and girls in Africa and beyond.”