The government of Equatorial Guinea’s ratification of the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women is a potentially important step toward gender equality in Equatorial Guinea,
but to be meaningful it must be followed by concrete reforms designed to promote and protect the economic, political, and social rights of women, EG Justice said today.
Equatorial Guinea became the 31st African Union member country to ratify the Protocol, also known as the Maputo Protocol. It guarantees the equal rights of women to political participation, economic and social equality, reproductive rights, and an end to genital mutilation.
Despite existing laws intended to forbid domestic violence and defend women’s rights, to date the Equatoguinean government has failed to consistently safeguard and advance the rights of women. In reality, scores of women continue to suffer from discrimination, physical and sexual abuse, and limited access to quality health care, employment, and political participation.
“The Equatoguinean government must dedicate the necessary resources to protect and promote women's rights,” said Tutu Alicante, executive director of EG Justice. “This should include the establishment of concrete and verifiable measures for monitoring gender equality and investigating and prosecuting all cases in which women's rights are abused.”
The Equatoguinean government can take direct, tangible, and verifiable measures toward achieving the Protocol’s commitments by:
- Allocating resources to improve the healthcare system so that women have reliable access to affordable, quality healthcare.
- Enacting laws—including gender quotas—and allocating resources to increase women’s economic and political participation.
- Enforcing existing regulations that forbid domestic violence against women.
- Enacting a law and allocating resources to ensure compulsory primary and secondary education.