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The Maputo Protocol is one of the world’s most comprehensive and progressive women’s human rights instruments. It is a treaty which was officially adopted by the African Union (AU) at its meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, on 11 July 2003. The Protocol entered into force on 25 November 2005, having been ratified by the required 15 member nations of the African Union. Nigeria signed onto this protocol in the year 2006 as a commitment to ensuring a safe society for women and girls.


The aim of the treaty is to promote and protect the rights of women on the African continent by addressing the specific challenges faced by women in Africa, including gender-based violence, discrimination, and limited access to healthcare and education. It seeks to eliminate discrimination against women and promote their full and equal participation in all aspects of life, including social, economic, and political spheres.

Currently, 44 of the 55 Member States of the African Union have ratified the Protocol!



The Republic of South Sudan deposited its instruments of ratification to the AU Commission on the 7th of June 2023.

Did you know?

  • Maputo protocol is one of the world's most progressive women's rights instrument.

  • 17 years since Nigeria ratified the protocol and she is yet to domesticate and implement it!

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20 years ago, on July 11, 2023, the African Union (AU) Heads of State principally adopted the Maputo Protocol to address the many legal, cultural, and societal impediments that characterized various African women’s limitations to achieving their full potential. Two years later, 15 countries ratified the Protocol, making it the fastest human rights instrument to come into force in the history of the OAU/AU. It demonstrated African leaders’ willingness to protect, promote and fulfill women’s rights. It was affirmed in the Solemn Declaration of Heads of State and Government on Gender Equality in Africa, adopted in July 2004.

The progress of the Maputo Protocol results from incredible advocacy efforts by various human rights organizations, regional unions, and state bodies, including SOAWR and our members, in ensuring it is signed, ratified, implemented, and reported on by African governments.



Resource Documents

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Download your resource documents to join in the celebration online using the hashtag - #MaputoAt20and tag us!

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