The urgent need for more women representation in Africa: Why we do what we doPosted: 30 March, 2023 Filed under: Maria Mulenga Kasoma, Mary Izobo | Tags: Africa, African Union (AU) Agenda, developmental agendas, exclusion of women, gender equality, gender gaps, gender inequality, global priorities, leadership, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, US-Africa Leaders’ Summit Leave a comment
Author: Mary Izobo
International Human Rights Lawyer
Author: Maria Mulenga Kasoma
Final-year law student
In December 2022, United States President Joe Biden hosted the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit emphasised the importance of engagement with Africa on the world’s most pressing challenges and possibilities. The Summit also sought to demonstrate the United States enduring commitment to Africa, underscored the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities. “Women and Youth: Peace and Security” was one of the key themes of the Summit. Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addressed the gathering on the role of women’s inclusion in African leadership. Under the theme, she highlighted the social and economic factors that push the exclusion of women. She further stressed the need to revise laws to ensure full gender equality.
The place of liberal feminism in the struggle for gender equality in Kenya.Posted: 8 July, 2022 Filed under: Davis Thuranira | Tags: affirmative actions, Bill of Rights, equal participation, feminism, gender discrimination, gender equality, gender inequality, Gender Representation in the National Assembly and the Senate, gender rule, good governance, human rights, Kenya, legal framework, liberal feminism, non-discrimination, patriarchy, Rono v Rono, toxic masculinity, transformative jurisprudence Leave a comment
Author: Davis Thuranira
Student, Kenyatta University, Kenya
The framers of the constitution provided adequate mechanisms to counter gender discrimination and foster equality among all sexes and gender in the country. As a matter of fact, several legal provisions incline to an ideology of equality that seeks to overhaul the existing societal structure which anchors discrimination and unequal treatment of women.
Equality, non-discrimination, inclusiveness and protection of the marginalized are among the key principles featured under Article 10. The provision universally applies to all persons and demands compliance by the state, including its organs, while exercising its constitutional mandate. The state is required to invoke its authority by giving effect to the two-third gender rule. Additionally, these principles and others that support gender equality are emphasized in the constitution since such are the basis for any democratic society that the constitution envisions. The applicability of these principles is mandatory, and the courts have on several occasions emphasized that the principles are not aspirational as argued by critics but realistic, practicable and binding on everyone. In the case of Rono v Rono, the Court of Appeal authoritatively asserted that the Constitution shields women from customary succession laws that bar women from inheriting property. The Court held that both male and female children are treated equally before the law and that discriminatory rules are invalid and unconstitutional to the extent that it treats women as inferiors to men. Read the rest of this entry »
Child marriages in Zimbabwe and the failure by the State to fulfil its obligations to protect the rights of childrenPosted: 26 August, 2021 Filed under: Nqobani Nyathi | Tags: ACERWC, Africa, African Commission, child marriage, child marriages, children's rights, Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child, constitution, Constitution of Zimbabwe, discrimination, gender inequality, girl child, human rights, Maputo Protocol, Marriage Act, Marriages Bill, provisions, religion, religious justification, religious sects, reproductive health, rights of children, rule of law, sexual rights, SRHR, women's rights, Zimbabwe Leave a comment
Author: Nqobani Nyathi
Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Recently, there have been reports about a 14-year old child who died during childbirth. The reason why such a tragedy happened and may continue to happen is the State’s failure or unwillingness to eradicate child marriages. This article seeks to outline Zimbabwe’s legislative framework regarding child marriages and its obligations in terms of international law.
The legal position
Child marriage is illegal in Zimbabwe as held by Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court. In January 2016, the apex court rightly found that the legislative provisions legalising child marriages were inconsistent with the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Constitution has fairly strong provisions promoting and protecting the rights of children, including the right to be protected from sexual exploitation or any form of abuse. The Court also observed that historically there has been a “lack of common social consciousness on the problems of girls who became victims of early marriages.”
The fact that child marriages had to be declared illegal through litigation exposes this lack of common social consciousness. Zimbabwe had been clinging to the archaic law legalising the marriage of children in terms of both the Marriage Act 81 of 1964 and the Customary Marriages Act 23 of 1950.
When policy isn’t enough: Examining accessibility of sexual and reproductive health rights for displaced populations in South AfricaPosted: 21 December, 2020 Filed under: Lidya Stamper | Tags: abortion, CEDAW, clinic, discrimination, displaced, Displaced Populations, gender inequality, IDP, IDPs, International Organization for Migration, IOM, Johannesburg, migrant populations, policy, poverty, public health, public health system, reproductive health, sexual and reproductive health rights, sexual health, South Africa, SRHS, UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement 2 Comments
Author: Lidya Stamper
Research Fellow, Centre of Human Rights, University of Pretoria
The right to sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) is a fundamental human right for all, guaranteed under international human rights law. Legal protections outlining these rights have been recognised in South Africa through international, regional and domestic instruments. More specifically, these protections are highlighted and specified in documents such as the ‘Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women’ (CEDAW), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), and the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Despite the presence of these legal frameworks, outlining equality and non-discrimination, persistent inequalities continue to act as barriers to exercising SRHS. Legislative and policy advances in SRH have been undermined by a lack of successful implementation and improvements in service delivery, service accessibility, and service availability. Implementation challenges combined with a fragmented health sector have resulted in various obstacles including a lack of standardised care, gaps in the dissemination of information, overburdened health facilities, and provider opposition. Social conditions such as gender inequality, poor access to health services, and provider attitudes continue to reinforce these barriers, undermining many of the intended outcomes of the existing legislative and policy advances in the SRH realm.