The West Africa Expert Meeting on the Rights of Older Women, organised by the Centre for Human Rights in partnership with HelpAge International and Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, took place at the University of Ghana, Legon on 9 August 2018.  This event was held  in the wake of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, held annually by the Centre, and formed part of the Centre’s year-long #AgeWithRights campaign to advocate for the protection of the rights of older women in Africa.

The meeting brought together experts from West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea, Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The meeting focused on the collective deliberation of issues that affect older women in the region and had the objective of coming up with strategies to push respective states to take action to address the specific vulnerabilities of older women. Participating experts included representatives from government ministries, civil society organisations, human rights advocates and researchers with experience working on the rights of older persons. One specific issue highlighted throughout the meeting was the urgent need for the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Older Persons, which although adopted by African Union member states in 2016, has suffered neglect as no states have ratified the Protocol as yet.

The meeting had three objectives:

  1. to identify and examine emerging issues regarding protection and promotion of the rights of older women, including measures to prevent discrimination, neglect, abuse and violence;
  2. to evaluate national and international approaches to widening and deepening the rights of older persons and;
  3. to elaborate on how to promote the rights of older persons, with a specific focus on the popularisation and ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons.

The meeting also discussed specific issues and obligations that were critical to the enjoyment of all rights by older persons with a key focus on older women, such as discrimination; the right to health; the right to work and the right to social security.

The Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Prof. Frans Viljoen underscored in his opening address the importance of addressing the rights of older persons, especially older women. He also made a call for action for states to ratify the Protocol on the Rights 0f Older Persons.


pdfDownload the programme of the West Africa Expert Meeting
pdfTéléchargez le programme de la réunion d'experts sur les droits des femmes âgées en Afrique de l'Ouest


pdfDownload the report of the West Africa Expert Meeting on the Rights of Older Women
pdfTéléchargez le Rapport Réunion d'experts 

Conference Presentations



 Subscribe to our newsletter