The Gender Unit of the Centre for Human Rights organised a 3-day workshop on increasing States’ capacity for reporting under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Women’s Protocol). This was organised in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), Commissioner Soyata Maiga. The workshop was held from 11 to 13 November 2014 at the Farm Inn Hotel, Pretoria.
Thirty key government and civil society stakeholders involved in the state reporting process in Tanzania, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo attended this workshop.
The main objectives of the workshop were to disseminate and popularise the Guidelines on State Reporting on the Women’s Protocol and to build and strengthen the capacity of the represented states on state reporting under the Women’s Protocol to ensure that more African states comply with their state reporting obligations under the Women’s Protocol.
Presentations were given on the African human rights system and the Women's Rights Protocol. Commissioner Maiga provided an overview of the situation of women’s human rights in Africa and highlighted progress and challenges. Representatives from the South African Women’s Ministry and the South African Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services shared their experience of drafting South Africa’s state report on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Women’s Rights Protocol.
The workshop was highly interactive and participatory. After sharing the status of reporting in each country represented 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 presented it in a moot session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This session provided an opportunity for the representatives from the states to have constructive engagement with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, allowing representatives to benefit from her concrete recommendations.
At the end of the workshop, a number of participants expressed commitment to go back to their respective countries and continue the process of compiling their reports in order to submit them as soon as possible.
The Centre for Human Rights is grateful to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its generous support of this activity.