The AfCFTA’s Draft Protocol on Women and Youth
The Women an Youth Protocol has not attracted such criticism and does look likely to get adopted by the next Ministers’ meeting. It is worth remembering, that the AU’s Maputo Protocol, which was signed 20 years ago, promised equality and non-discrimination to women and girls in civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights throughout Africa. Since it came into force, 49 of the 55 AU member states have signed on, and 42 have ratified it. The Protocol is one of the most ratified of any AU instrument. With the goal to enhance and safeguard women’s rights throughout Africa, it is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive, progressive and innovative documents of its type. What is particularly impressive is how the Protocol recognises the importance of tackling HIV/Aids and acknowledges widow’s rights and women’s and girls’ rights to access safe abortion under certain circumstances. Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Madagascar, Niger, Somalia and Sudan are the 8 countries that have signed but not ratified, and 3 countries (Botswana, Egypt and Morocco) have yet to sign.
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