News & Updates

A Memoir: Celebrating 20 Years of the Maputo Protocol

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), SOAWR Member Equality Now took on a special initiative to gather statements from presidents, prime ministers, and ministers of the first countries that ratified the Protocol. In instances where the heads of state/government were unavailable, statements were collected from the relevant gender ministers. The intent was to celebrate the milestone achieved through the implementation of the Maputo Protocol by engaging these high-ranking officials and further discussing their plans for commemorating its adoption and subsequent progress to date. The exercise gathered 12 statements from the Heads of State and Government, along with those from the respective gender ministers. 

A contextual and historical analysis of the first 20 countries that ratified or acceded to the Maputo Protocol, and interaction with the leaders of these countries, sought to bring out the motivations behind each government’s decision to ratify or accede to the Maputo Protocol, their continued commitment to its principles, and the progress as well as challenges in its implementation. 

Simultaneously, this memoir incorporated insights from 13 young women leaders and activists. These inspirational young women shared their perceptions and provided recommendations, focusing on their vision for Africa. The process of selecting these young leaders involved collaboration with the members of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Coalition, who identified individuals based on their notable contributions and leadership within their respective countries, as well as on their active engagement with socio-economic and political issues. 

By collecting these diverse perspectives, Equality Now aimed to echo the significance of the Maputo Protocol’s 20-year journey, while amplifying the voices of established and emerging leaders working towards women’s rights and gender equality on the continent.