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

Berlin, September 4, 2018: Today sees the release of 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 and girls’ rights in SRHR and their ratification and domestication in African countries. 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, girls and the aspirations of many others who are deeply  engaged in and desire the full realization of  women and girls’ rights”, says Caroline Kwamboka Nyakundi, principal editorial advisor (International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region).

Four core rights areas

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 milestone in the three-year State of African Women Campaign 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, led by Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), 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: www.rightbyher.org

– ENDS –


Rena Föhr
International Communications Officer, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
rena.foehr@dsw.org | https://www.dsw.org/en/

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 Campaign 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 SoAWC 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.
  • Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) focuses on the needs and potential of the largest youth generation in history. We are committed to creating demand for and access to health information, services and supplies, and to securing their right for a brighter future. We achieve this by engaging in gender sensitive advocacy, capacity development, and family planning initiatives. With our headquarters Germany, DSW maintains offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as liaison offices in Berlin and Brussels. DSW also advocates for investment in research and innovation to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.

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