The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 39th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights,
Recalling that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution on the Status of Women’s rights in Africa (NGO/Res/0013-1105) during its 38th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia,
Recognizing that the women of Africa continue to be subject to retrogressive and discriminatory laws and practices;
Noting the difficult situations within which the defenders of the rights of women carry on their work;
Recalling the commitments of the Heads of States and Governments in the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa;
Acknowledging the historical context within which this NGO Forum is taking place, and the imminent entry into force of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa;
Further acknowledging the countries that have ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; Benin, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Republic of South Africa, Senegal and Togo;
Reiterating our commitment to continue working towards the promotion of the rights of women in Africa;
Hereby call upon the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to adopt a Resolution:
1. Urging the 36 member states of the African Union that have not done so, to urgently ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa without reservations and to remove the reservations where these have been placed;
2. Congratulating the 17 member States that have ratified, and
3. Encouraging sensitization of women at the grassroots level on the Protocol. This should include providing translation of the Protocol into local languages.
4. Encouraging and Supporting the participation of women’s group representatives in future NGOs fora.
Done in Banjul, 8th May, 2006