Women's Rights Treaty Enacted by Fifteen African Nations
Fifteen African countries have ratified the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, affirming that reproductive rights are human rights. The Protocol mandates that women have the right to an abortion when pregnancy results from assault, rape, or incest, as well as when the woman’s mental health, physical health, or life is jeopardized, reports Population Action International (PAI). According to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), this is the first international treaty to assert this right.
The Protocol improves upon the African Charter, which, according to CRR, is often used to justify the subordination of women because of its support for traditional cultural practices, including those that violate women’s rights, such as female genital mutilation (FGM). The Protocol, however, bans FGM, another first for an international document, reports CRR.
Togo became the 15th country to ratify the Protocol on October 26, and the treaty went into effect one month later, reports Southern African News Features. At least 38 other African nations are signatories to the treaty, according to PAI.
Media Resources: CRR briefing paper 12/7/05; PAI press release 12/12/05; Southern African News Features 12/5/05
7/24/2014 From Passion to Progress Briefing Brings Together Feminist Leaders and Hundreds of Young Activists - Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) staff, two congresswomen, and over a hundred DC interns came together yesterday for FMF's Intern Student/Activist briefing in Dirksen Senate building to discuss how to put a women's rights agenda into action.
Over plates of donuts and cups coffee, participants listened to a succession of engaging and passionate speeches from congressional and feminist leaders: Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and FMF President Eleanor Smeal. . . .