The UN Human Rights Council launched a joint report with the African Union and UN Women on Tuesday, describing women as active agents of change.
The report, ‘Women’s Rights in Africa’, explained the progress and challenges to women’s struggle for human rights in Africa.
“When African women, as around the globe, exercise their rights to access education, skills, and jobs, there will be a surge in prosperity, positive health outcomes, and greater freedom and well-being, not only of women but of the whole society.
“When all women are empowered to make their own choices and share resources, opportunities and decisions as equal partners, every society in Africa will be transformed,” the report said.
It, however, regretted that in most countries in Africa, women continue to be denied their rights to full enjoyment.
“Statistics show that some African countries have no legal protection for women against domestic violence, are forced to undergo female genital mutilation, and forced to marry while still children.”
Among other recommendations, the report called on African governments to encourage women’s full and productive employment, to recognize the importance of unpaid care and domestic work, and to ensure women can access and control their own economic and financial resources.
The report stressed that women should not be seen only as victims but as active agents in formal and informal peace building processes.
“Human rights are not a utopian fairy-tale-they are a recipe for sound institutions, more sustainable development and greater peace,” Zeid Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, wrote in the Foreword to the report.