PRESS RELEASE: Fifteen years after Maputo Protocol: Ground-breaking report provides pan-African review of women’s rights

While significant improvements have taken place, the implementation of continental commitments to women’s rights still lags behind.

Berlin / Nairobi, September 4, 2018: Today sees the release the digital version of the State of African Women report. This ground-breaking report delivers a full pan-African review of the current status of women’s rights. Written by an African-European women research team, it is the centerpiece of an EU-funded multi-partner project to make gender equality across Africa a reality.

“This report reflects the vast knowledge, experiences and efforts of countless women and girls who are deeply committed to and engaged in realising women and girls’ rights in the past, present and future”, says Caroline Kwamboka Nyakundi, principal editorial advisor (International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region).

Core rights areas and cross-cutting issues

The report focuses on four core rights areas:  Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), Gender-based violence against women (GBVAW), Harmful Practices (Child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation), and HIV & AIDS. The key findings show that the situation of African women remains dramatic:

  • More than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Three in five countries in Africa do not criminalize marital rape.
  • Young women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected with HIV than young men in the same age group.

The report marks a major milestone in the three-year State of African Women Project that focuses on increasing civil society’s contributions to promote the implementation of African Union policy frameworks.

“Civil society, and women and girls’ rights organisations in particular, are critical actors in both promoting and monitoring legal, policy and institutional reform on each of the four rights areas”, says Anouka van Eerdewijk (KIT Royal Tropical Institute), leader of the research team.

Digital campaign: #RightByHer – Where do you stand?

The report findings are being implemented by a unique alliance of eight organizations, i.e. via capacity building workshops and training for change makers of governmental and non-governmental sectors. The report furthermore informs the #RightByHer communications campaign which aims at expanding the discourse on women’s rights mainly via digital media.

The report is now available for download at the campaign website.
More information:

– ENDS –

For further details or interviews please contact:


Mark Okundi
Advocacy Officer, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) 


Rena Föhr
Communications Officer, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) | 

Notes to the Editor:

  • The State of African Women report is authored by Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and produced by Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) in the course of the State of African Women Project led by International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPF AR). A consortium of eight organisations, listed below, contributed to the piece with their expertise, case studies and feedback. For further information please refer to the colophon on page 2 of the report.
  • The State of African Women Campaign Project is an EU-funded, three-year advocacy, communication and awareness raising campaign. It is implemented by International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region, Young Women Christian Association Kenya (YWCA), Faith to Action Network (F2A), Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), IPPF European Network, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The SOAW project brings together a unique coalition of youth-serving organizations, faith organizations, feminist groups and SRHR activists and includes parliamentarians, journalists, young women leaders, faith leaders and first ladies as its champions. The campaign aims to increase civil society’s contributions to promote the implementation of the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women (Maputo Protocol) and the Maputo Plan of Action at four decision-making levels across sub-Saharan Africa – at continental, regional, national and sub-national level.

Leave a comment