66 J.L. Pol'y & Globalization 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/jawpglob66 and id is 1 raw text is: 



ISSN 2224-3240 (Paper) ISSN 2224-3259 (Online)
Vol.66, 2017


  An   Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Women's Rights
                    under International Instruments in Africa

                                        Benson Omoleye   Olukayode
                                             LL.B, B.L, LL.M
         Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Public Law Dept., Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Abstract
The  paper  examines  the challenges which   continue to hamper   effective implementation of  international
instruments on  Women's   Rights in Africa. The challenges include ingrained cultural practices and beliefs,
oppressive socio-economic  and political systems and wide spread poverty which especially weakens women's
capacity to enforce the rights under these instruments in Africa.It proposes measures that will promote gender
equality more effectively and enhance the realization, in concrete terms, woman's rights under these instruments
particularly the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)   and
the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

1.0.     Introduction
The promotion  and protection of women's rights in Africa continues to be hindered by deep-seated and ingrained
cultural practices and beliefs, oppressive socio-economic and political systems, religious bias and economic
underdevelopment.  Africa women   have been and still subjected to inequalities in virtually all fields- political,
social, economic and cultural.'
     Discrimination against women  in Africa is largely rooted in the historical evolution of its cultures and this
has tended to slow down  the momentum   of women's  rights in the continent. The growing and relentless global
clamour  to accord women   equal  status and rights with their make  counterparts2 in every facet of human
endervour seems  to have made very limited impact. The concept of gender equality has not resonated well in the
continent. There is a need to push more vigorously women's rights and a new strategy devised that will enhance
the realization and enjoyment of their rights in the continent.
     This paper examines  the challenges in the way of women's  rights in Africa, appraises the existing legal
instruments on women's  rights and proposes measures that will promote more effectively gender equality while
reducing the tension between cultural values which are uniquely African and women's   rights whose intrinsic
nature and contents emanated from different socio-economic and cultural environments.

2.0.    An  Overview  of International Crusading  for Women's   Rights.
The  United Nations Declaration of Human  Rights  in 19483 was a significant milestone, on broad multilateral
platform  for proclaiming  gender equality and  condemning   discrimination against women.   Although   the
declaration is not in itself a legal instrument in the mould of treaty or convention, it has been described as having
considerable legal effect4 and by some jurists as part of the law of the United Nations.' More importantly,
the Declaration has inspired a number of multilateral treaties, conventions6 and conferences specifically directed
at institutionalizing gender equality and formulating and promoting women's  rights. These included but not
limited to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human  Rights
on June 25, 1993', the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action adopted by the Fourth United Nation World
Conference  on Women,  4-15  September, 1995'; Convention on the Rights of Women   1953; Convention for the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 1979;.




'Osita Eze, Human Rights in Africa: Some Selected Problems, Macmillan Publishers, Ltd, 1984, P. 141.
2 There have been several landmark Declarations, Conventions/Treaties such as the Declaration for the Protection of Women and Children
in Emergency and Armed Conflict 1974; Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 1993; Beijing Declaration and Platform
for Action, Fourth World Conference on Women; Action for Equality, Development and Peace 1995; Convention for the Elimination of All
Discrimination against Women 1979; Convention on the Political Rights of Women 1953; Optional Practical to the Convention on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women 1999; Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women
in Africa 2003; Declaration on the Elimination ofviolence against Women 1993; e.t.c.
Resolution 217 (iii) December, 1948
4 Ian Brownlie and Guy S. Goodwin - Gill, Basic Documents on Human Rights, 5t Ed, Oxford University Press, London, P. 23.
5 Ibid.
6 Such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPC) and International Covenant on Social Economic and Cultural
Rights (ICSECR).
7UN doc.A/CONF.157/23, 12t' July, 1993.
UN  doc.A/CONF.177/20, 17th October, 1995.


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Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization


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