About us

About the SOAWR Coalition

The Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) is a coalition of 72 civil society organisations working across 33 countries. Established in 2004, SOAWR works to ensure that the rights of girls and women as articulated in the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (“The Protocol”) are prioritised by policymakers on the African continent.

SOAWR Vision
African women fully enjoy their rights as provided for under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. 

SOAWR Mission 
Hold African Union Member States accountable and enhance partnership to fulfil their obligations under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; and encourage other stakeholders to actively apply the Protocol for the promotion and protection of the rights of women. 

SOAWR Core Values

Equality and non-discrimination
We believe that the full implementation of the Maputo Protocol is key to addressing the patriarchal and sexist character of institutions, norms and governing values in order to realize full equality and end discrimination against women and girls and realise full equality.

Solidarity and partnership 
We believe in solidarity as a means of building an effective, transformative movement for change in Africa. We therefore envision SOAWR as a collective force for action for women’s freedom and rights. We shall act together and support the struggles and initiatives of women Rights champions and organisations across the continent and with vertical and horizontal partners of women’s rights across the world.

Freedom and dignity 
We believe that freedom is central to social justice. We are a force for African women’s freedom; we are driven by the principle of defending and upholding women’s voice, agency, dignity and rights across the African continent. We therefore envision SOAWR as a collective force for action for women’s freedom and rights.

Diversity and inclusivity
We believe in the diversity of women and their unique strengths and insights. We also recognise that women’s intersectional identities may interact to intensify violations and we work towards eliminating such discrimination. We believe in holding each other accountable to the indivisibility of women’s rights and we believe in the importance of courage to confront patriarchy. Therefore, we consciously work in the margins of society and work with and for women in the margins.

Commitment and accountability
We believe that progress towards a continent where women’s rights and dignity are secured will only flow from action by networked, committed and inspired women and women rights champions who are guided by high standards of accountability. Without the passion and commitment and accountability internally and by Member States, transformation will be slow to achieve.

Why SOAWR?

  1. To contribute to the accelerated ratification of the Protocol in the states that have not ratified the Protocol. See the Protocol Watch
  2. To support the domestication and implementation of the Protocol in states that have ratified it. 
  3. To implement tracking and documentation mechanisms on the Protocol at the national and sub- regional levels.
  4. To strengthen national community mobilisation efforts to popularise and use the Protocol. 
  5. To enhance conceptual clarity of coalition members around advocating for the Protocol. 

Follow these links to read about the benefits of becoming a member of SOAWR and about our membership criteria: