Maputo Protocol
Maputo Protocol

The Gender for Empowering Development (GenCED), a non-profit organisation has launched a Maputo scorecard report for Ghana on Articles four and 13 of the Maputo Protocol to the African Charter.

Article four deals with right to life and dignity of a person, while Article 13 deals with social and economic rights.

Ms Esther Tawiah, GenCED Executive Director, who launched the report said, the objective was to analyse Articles four, and 13 of the Maputo Protocol, which showed the country’s assessment scores and outcomes.

It was also to pin point the gaps and provide recommendations on areas that needed to be strengthened, the Executive Director noted.

She said key stakeholders and agencies such as; the Domestic Violence Secretariat, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), the Department of Gender, the Ghana Trades Union Congress, and the Attorney General Department were consulted.

Others include; the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit (DoVVSU).

Ms Tawiah, giving the background said, women formed half of the world’s population, but were marginalised and denied many of their rights as they were born into a patriarchal society, justified with traditions and culture.

In recognition of the socio-economic cost, women marginalisation, African leaders put in place a number of legal provisions to promote and protect the rights of African women including; the Maputo Protocol, she explained.

She said, the Non-Governmental Organisation jointly produced the status report of its implementation in Ghana with MoGCSP, to be presented by the Ministry at the next session of the African Union 2019 session.

She stated that Ghana was dedicated in implementing the Protocol citing the Chapter five of the 1992 Constitution promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

She said the State was working on amending the Intestate Succession Law, 1985 (PNDC 111) to correct the criminal flaws in the bid to promote and address human rights of Africans.

Ms Tawiah emphasised that Matrimonial causes, Children’s Act, Female Genital Mutilation, Domestic Violence Act, Disability Act, the Labour and Whistle Blower Acts were all furthering the provisions of the Maputo Protocol in Ghana.

Copies were made available to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), stakeholders and would be made available to the African Union.

Ms Sarah Tabit, Plan AU Liaison Office said, child marriage should be averted, saying that about 25 million girls were affected in the sub-region and appealed for the engagement of communities, families, boys and girls to change the stereotype against girls as they created awareness about equality for all in their local languages.

She said opportunities should be created for both sexes to address challenges of women including; violence against them and poverty.

Mr Frank Wilson Bodza, Programme Manager-in-Charge of Governance, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) Ghana, launching the report said, Ghana did not need extra laws to implement the Protocol but empowerment.

The Maputo Protocol guarantees comprehensive rights to women including; the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, improved autonomy in their reproductive health decisions and an end to female mutilation.

It was adopted by the African Union in the form of a protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in Maputo, Mozambique.

It was specifically for women, drafted in March 1995 in Lome-Togo and took effect on November 25, 2005 to be ratified by 15 countries including Ghana.

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