From 13 – 14 November 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria conducted a workshop on utilising General Comments on Article 14 of the of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) as tools for Advocacy on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Africa.

The workshop brought together civil society organisations from various African countries. Its primary aim was to address the gaps in knowledge by building the capacity of relevant members of civil society from various African countries. By advocating for the implementation of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights contained in the Maputo Protocol, civil society organisations can optimally utilise the available mechanisms to realise the rights for women and girls and ensure state accountability for violations.

The two-day workshop focused on state obligations under article 14 of the Maputo Protocol guided by themes such as - the right to self-protection and to be protected against STIs including HIV/AIDS, family planning and contraceptives, the right to safe abortion, the protection of SRHR of vulnerable groups of women and girls, allocation of finances by member states to realise SRHR at the national level and various emerging issues in SRHR, including the rights of intersex persons and lesbian, bi-sexual and queer women and girls.

On the first day of the workshop Matilda Lasseko-Phooko gave an overview of the African human Rights systems approach to women’s rights. Susan Mutambasere gave an introduction to sexual and reproductive health rights in the context of Article 14 of the Maputo Protocol. Tambudzai Gonese, from the South African Litigation Centre offered an in-depth understanding of General Comment on Article 14 (1) (d) and how it can be used as an advocacy tool. The workshop culminated in group activities where participants strategized on the various opportunities and challenges to advocacy on sexual and reproductive health rights. .

Day two of the workshop saw presentations by Professor Usang Maria Assim who delved into General Comment No 2 on Article 14 (1) (a), (b), (c) and (f) and Article 14 (2) (a) and )c) and how this General Comment can be used as an advocacy tool. Dr Elvis Fokala then led the discussion on advocacy on sexual and reproductive health rights for adolescent girls and Oluwatomi Okeowo delivered a presentation focusing on sexual and reproductive health rights for older women and women with disabilities. Day two of the workshop ended with a presentation by Tabitha Saoyo Griffith which looked at the best practices for the domestic protection of sexual and reproductive health rights in Africa in the context of the anti-rights movement. 

This workshop was one of the activities of the Centre for Human Rights under its broader projects to empowering non-state actors in the human rights system to adequately ensure the domestication and implementation of the Maputo Protocol nationally.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Elvis Fokala
Manager: Children’s Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4197
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743

Matilda Lasseko-Phooko
Manager: Women’s Right Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 4306
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743


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