We the participants of the Forum of NGOs participating at the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 10th African Human Rights Book Fair, held at Ngor Diarama Hotel, from November 20 – 22, 2004,
Concerned about the increasing violation of women’s rights in the continent, particularly in the conflict regions;
Considering that women and girls are still victims of certain cultural practices, which has negative impacts on their health and social well being;
Deeply concerned about the fact that the majority of women in the continent are illiterates and hence in most instances are not aware of their fundamental human rights;
The forum recommends that the:
- African Commission should strengthen the office of the Rapporteur to enhance the discharge of her mandate. This is in terms of funding and personnel.
- Creation of a focal point in each member state for linkages with the African Commission.
- African Commission should reinforce the need for member states to ratify the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
- African Commission should establish a concrete relationship with organisations that have observer status especially for information sharing.
- Training on economic, social and cultural rights especially for magistrates and judges to enhance quality of implementation of the protocol and other women’s rights instruments.
- African Commission should pass a resolution to denounce the in-application of the laws by member states.
- African Commission should urge member states to translate and disseminate the instruments into all national languages of member states.
- African Commission should create and disseminate a database of the national networks working on women’s rights while the NGOs should make the information available to the commission.
Done in Dakar, November 22nd, 2004