The African Women's Protocol: Harnessing a Potential Force for Positive Change
On 25 November 2005, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa entered into force, after receiving its 15th ratification. This marked a milestone in the protection and promotion of women's rights in Africa, creating new rights for women in terms of international standards.
This groundbreaking Protocol, for the first time in international law, explicitly sets forth the reproductive right of women to medical abortion when pregnancy results from rape or incest or when the continuation of pregnancy endangers the health or life of the mother. In another first, the Protocol explicitly calls for the legal prohibition of female genital mutilation, and prohibits the abuse of women in advertising and pornography.
The Protocol sets forth a broad range of economic and social welfare rights for women. The rights of particularly vulnerable groups of women, including widows, elderly women, disabled women and "women in distress," which includes poor women, women from marginalized populations groups, and pregnant or nursing women in detention are specifically recognized.
In this important study, through careful research and in-depth investigation of three African countries, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique, Oxfam evaluates the impact of the protocol and sets out a road map for the way forward.
Published by Fanele, an imprint of Jacana Media. Distributed by Oxfam Publishing
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The Situation of Women
Comparative Analysis of the Protocol to Selected
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