The African Women’s Protocol
Harnessing a Potential Force for Positive Change

Paper: 978 1 920196 08 0 / $24.95
Published: May 2009  

Publisher: Oxfam Publishing
336 pp., 5 7/8" x 8 1/2"
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

Table of Contents:
List of Figures; Acknowledgements; List of Acronyms; SECTION ONE: OVERVIEW: Executive Summary; 1) The Situation of Women; 2) Comparative Analysis of the Protocol to Selected International Instruments and Policy Documents; 3) Implications of the Protocol; 4) Awareness about the Protocol; 5) Threats and Challenges; 6) Best Practices; 7) Lessons and Conclusions; 8) Research Recommendations; 9) Country Recommendations; SECTION TWO: SOUTH AFRICAN COUNTRY REPORT: Summary; 10) Introduction; 11) Methodology; 12) Literature Review; 13) Implications of the Protocol for the Thematic Areas under Examination; 14) Awareness about the Protocol; 15) Challenges; 16) Achievements and Best Practices; 17) Conclusions; 18) Recommendations; SECTION THREE: SAMBIAN COUNTRY REPORT: Foreword; Summary; 19) Introduction; 20) Literature Review; 21) Thematic Situation of Women in Zambia; 22) Analysis of National and International Policy Documents; 23) Implications for the Protocol; 24) Challenges; 25) Achievements and Best Practices; 26) Conclusions and Recommendations; SECTION FOUR: MOZAMBICAN COUNTRY REPORT: Summary; 27) Introduction; 28) Methodology; 29) Literature Review; 30) The African Women’s Protocol; 31) Challenges; SECTION FIVE: OVERALL SUMMARY: 32) The Six Best Practices; 33) Conclusions and Recommendations; 34) The Way Forward: Some Practical Considerations for the Protocol; 35) Using Lobbying Opportunities Given by the UN Through CSW Meetings; Appendix 1: List of Key Respondents; Appendix 2: Checklist for Research Questions; Appendix 3: Plan of Action of the Policy Research on the African Union Women’s Protocol-Southern African Region; Bibliography.

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See Gender & Development ( African Studies )