Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Maputo, 11 July 2003

Sectors : Gender and social development, Human Rights, Primary and basic education, Health systems, medicines and regulation, HIV/AIDS, Maternal health, reproductive health and infant mortality, Food security, Energy, Sustainable development
Organisation : AU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Governance - Human Rights

“Article 12 Right to Education and Training
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:
a) eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and guarantee equal opportunity and access in the sphere of education and training;

b) eliminate all stereotypes in textbooks, syllabuses and the media, that perpetuate such discrimination;

c) protect women, especially the girl-child from all forms of abuse, including sexual harassment in schools and other educational institutions and provide for sanctions against the perpetrators of such practices;

d) provide access to counselling and rehabilitation services to women who suffer abuses and sexual harassment;

e) integrate gender sensitisation and human rights education at all levels of education curricula including teacher training.

2. States Parties shall take specific positive action to:
a) promote literacy among women;

b) promote education and training for women at all levels and in all disciplines, particularly in the fields of science and technology;

c) promote the enrolment and retention of girls in schools and other training institutions and the organisation of programmes for women who leave school prematurely.”


“Article 14 Health and Reproductive Rights

1. States Parties shall ensure that the right to health of women, including sexual and reproductive health is respected and promoted. This includes:
a) the right to control their fertility;

b) the right to decide whether to have children, the number of children and the spacing of children;

c) the right to choose any method of contraception;

d) the right to self-protection and to be protected against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS;

e) the right to be informed on one's health status and on the health status of one's partner, particularly if affected with sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, in accordance with internationally recognised standards and best practices;

g) the right to have family planning education.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:
a) provide adequate, affordable and accessible health services, including information, education and communication programmes to women especially those in rural areas;

b) establish and strengthen existing pre-natal, delivery and post-natal health and nutritional services for women during pregnancy and while they are breast-feeding;

c) protect the reproductive rights of women by authorising medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or the foetus.”


“Article 15 Right to Food Security

States Parties shall ensure that women have the right to nutritious and adequate food. In this regard, they shall take appropriate measures to:
a) provide women with access to clean drinking water, sources of domestic fuel, land, and the means of producing nutritious food;

b) establish adequate systems of supply and storage to ensure food security.”


“Article 16 Right to Adequate Housing
Women shall have the right to equal access to housing and to acceptable living conditions in a healthy environment. To ensure this right, States Parties shall grant to women, whatever their marital status, access to adequate housing.

Article 17 Right to Positive Cultural Context
1. Women shall have the right to live in a positive cultural context and to participate at all levels in the determination of cultural policies.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to enhance the participation of women in the formulation of cultural policies at all levels."


“Article 18 Right to a Healthy and Sustainable Environment
1. Women shall have the right to live in a healthy and sustainable environment.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:

a) ensure greater participation of women in the planning, management and preservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources at all levels;

b) promote research and investment in new and renewable energy sources and appropriate technologies, including information technologies and facilitate women's access to, and participation in their control;

c) protect and enable the development of women’s indigenous knowledge systems;

d) regulate the management, processing, storage and disposal of domestic waste;

e) ensure that proper standards are followed for the storage, transportation and disposal of toxic waste.

Article 19 Right to Sustainable Development
Women shall have the right to fully enjoy their right to sustainable development. In this connection, the States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to:

a) introduce the gender perspective in the national development planning procedures;

b) ensure participation of women at all levels in the conceptualisation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation of development policies and programmes;

c) promote women’s access to and control over productive resources such as land and guarantee their right to property;

d) promote women’s access to credit, training, skills development and extension services at rural and urban levels in order to provide women with a higher quality of life and reduce the level of poverty among women;

e) take into account indicators of human development specifically relating to women in the elaboration of development policies and programmes; and

f) ensure that the negative effects of globalisation and any adverse effects of the implementation of trade and economic policies and programmes are reduced to the minimum for women.”