The Gender Unit organised a 3-day workshop on state reporting under the African Women's Rights Protocol (Protocol) from 10 - 12 June at the University of Pretoria.  Government and civil society representatives from South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, and Zambia were invited.  These countries were specifically targeted for one of two reasons: they are in the final stages of drafting their state reports  before submitting it to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (Commission); or they were one of the first countries to have ratified the Protocol but have yet to submit a report on measures they have taken to comply with the treaty. 

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.  The workshop further aimed to provide a stimulus for the participating states to commit to submitting their state report, including the Protocol, to the Commission as a matter of priority.   The importance of the workshop is underscored by the fact that no state party is yet to submit a report on the Protocol despite some states having been party to the instrument for close to 10 years.  

Relevant government representatives and civil society members were brought together to reinforce the imperative of consultation in the reporting process and to encourage civil society to monitor state progress towards completion and submission of the report.  Presentations were given on topics such as the African Human Rights System, the Women's Rights Protocol, and Women's Rights Protocol reporting guidelines.  The workshop was also highly 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.  

Another capacity building workshop on state reporting on the Women's Rights Protocol is scheduled to take place in August in Dakar, Senegal for selected West African countries. 


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