The Gender Unit organised a 3-day workshop from 21 - 23 August in Dakar on state reporting on the African Women's Rights Protocol in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, Commissioner Soyata Maiga. The objectives of the workshop were to popularise the guidelines on state reporting under the Protocol and to strengthen understanding of state reporting obligations in accordance with the Guidelines.

Twenty-five representatives from government, National Human Rights Institutions, and civil society from Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Cameroon attended.

Presentations were made on the African Human Rights System, the African Women's rights Protocol, and the state reporting process, and Commissioner Maiga provided an overview of the situation of women's human rights in Africa, including highlights of challenges and good practices.  The workshop was highly also participatory.  After sharing the status of reporting in each country and the challenges faced by those tasked with state reporting, participants worked in country groups to draft a report on the Women's Rights Protocol and present it in a moot session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.  

The workshop follows a similar capacity building workshop convened in earlier this year, in June, in Pretoria for six Southern African countries.  Eleven countries that have ratified the Women's Rights Protocol have now strengthened their capacity to submit their reports on the Protocol in accordance with the Guidelines and it is anticipated that the impact of the two workshops will soon be evident.  For example, subsequent to being represented at the Pretoria workshop, the government of Malawi submitted its report on the Protocol to the African Commission, which will be considered in early 2014.  It is the first country to have submitted a report on the Protocol.



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