Maputo Protocol: Protecting the Rights of African Women

The Maputo Protocol is one of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments. The Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa was adopted by Heads of State and Government in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003.

The Maputo Protocol Advances African Women’s Rights

The Protocol guarantees extensive rights to African women and girls and includes progressive provisions on:

  • Harmful traditional practices, eg child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Reproductive health and rights
  • Roles in political processes
  • Economic empowerment
  • Ending violence against women

Since the Protocol came into force in 2005, 49 of the 55 African Union Member States have signed on, and 42 have ratified it. The Protocol has one of the highest numbers of ratifications for an instrument in the African Union.