Equality Now

Project Description

Popularisation, ratification and domestication of the African Union Protocol on rights of women; and building capacity of legal communities to address the human rights of adolescent girls

Republic of Kenya, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Cabo Verde, Union of the Comoros, Republic of Djibouti, Republic of The Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Mali, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Senegal, Togolese Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe

Amount: € 80,000.00


The Equality Now project aimed to protect and advance women’s rights in Burundi, Ethiopia, Guinea, and Sudan by lobbying for the ratification of the African Union’s Maputo Protocol. It further aimed to employ a multi-sectoral framework to support the implementation of the Protocol and provide training based on the “Guide to Using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action”. Between 2008 and 2010, the project advocated the ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa and addressed human rights abuses suffered by adolescent girls.

Key Results

Although Burundi, Ethiopia and Sudan did not ratify the Protocol, significant progress was made in identifying impediments, engaging in advocacy and developing strategies to promote its ratification. The key result of project was the ratification of the Protocol in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea-Bissau and Zimbabwe, securing Sao Tome and Principe as a signatory and promoting the multi-sectoral framework for domestication and implementation of the Protocol in 16 African Union (AU) member states that had ratified the Protocol. Also, Guinea ratified and implemented the Protocol in 2012. A Guide to Using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action was developed and 36 women lawyers empowered in the application of the Protocol.

An adolescent girls legal defence fund was established which focused on defending the human rights of young, vulnerable girls through legal advocacy. Furthermore, Equality Now helped to address a case of sexual abuse by a teacher in Zambia, supported grassroots activism to end female genital mutilation in Africa and campaigned to eliminate the practice of breast ironing in Cameroon.