Volume: Volume 13(2) - 2009
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Aniekwu, Nkolika Ijeoma
Aniekwu Nkolika Ijeoma notes that, in July 2003, the African Union adopted a landmark treaty, the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which significantly advances human rights protections to better reflect and incorporate women's experiences. It presents a tremendous opportunity for women's rights advocates in Africa, being the first regional human rights treaty to explicitly articulate women's right to abortion in specified circumstances.
It further reinforces the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by prohibiting violence against women and harmful traditional practices in the African region. The article acknowledges the tensions posed by universal human rights protection and cultural relativity, and also emphasises the indications for governments to protect women's sexual and reproductive rights within the sub-Saharan diaspora.