News & Updates

Botswana has Ratified the Maputo Protocol!

1st December, 2023

The Republic of Botswana has ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (better known as the Maputo Protocol). The SOAWR Coalition congratulates the Government of Botswana on this momentous achievement in the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Maputo Protocol.

Botswana deposited the instrument of ratification to the African Union Commission on the 1st of December, 2023.

Until now, Botswana had previously been one of just three African Union Member States who had neither signed or ratified the African women’s rights treaty, alongside Egypt and Morocco. Botswana’s ratification comes after SOAWR conducted a ratification mission to the country in December 2022 and held a high-level convening in Nairobi to commemorate the 20th Anniversary on the 11th of July 2023, where Botswana’s Minister for Gender indicated the country’s intention to join the rest of the continent.

"The depositing of this instrument comes as a welcome development, taking into consideration that it speaks to Botswana's national principles and priorities on the rights of women that the country has been practising for many decades. It further shows that the country is party to advancing the AU agenda and its efforts and priorities."
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Joint Ratification Mission to Botswana: December 2022

SOAWR, as represented by FEMNET, coordinated the delegation also made up of the AU-WGYD, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa at the ACHPR and the UN-OHCHR. They met with the Botswana Ministry of Justice – National Commission for Human Rights to appeal the Ministry to work with the Head of State to ratify/accede to the Maputo Protocol, especially in light of Botswana having already ratified CEDAW. The delegation also met with national CSOs to strengthen their capacities through discussing their role and strategies in lobbying the state to accede and explaining the state and shadow reporting processes. 
Learn more about SOAWR’s 2022 ratification missions via our annual Journal.

The Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, Honourable Commissioner Janet Ramatoulie Sallah-Njie, and SOAWR, AU and CSO representatives meeting with the Botswana Ministry of Justice in December 2022.

As of the 1st of December 2023, 46 AU Member States have now ratified the Protocol and there are only 9 AU Member States who are yet to ratify: Burundi, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Somalia and Sudan. The SOAWR Coalition is calling on these Member States to ratify the African women’s rights treaty by the end of this 20th year to enshrine and better ensure African women’s and girls’ rights. Additionally, the SOAWR Coalition urges the Central African Republic to deposit the instrument of ratification the African Union Commission. 

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