New reports to support policies and interventions in empowering and protecting women and girls in Africa

April 12, 2023


Addis Ababa, 10 April 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) and Equality Now/SOAWR, held a virtual workshop to launch two Regional mapping and assessment reports on the ratification, domestication, implementation and reporting on global and regional instruments on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.

The online launch, held on 23 March 2023, brought together stakeholders from the African Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) departments, member states, civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies to discuss member states' progress in ratifying, domesticating, and implementing the three main treaties, namely CEDAW, the Maputo Protocol and the ILO Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100).

The two mapping reports are key instruments for RECs, regional partners and CSOs to advocate for and influence their member states to ratify, domesticate, implement and report on regional and global instruments on gender GEWE and EVAWG. The session emphasized the significance of investing more resources in this regards. Furthermore, participants explored a possible joint action plan to advocate for the implementation of the reports' recommendations.

Alessandra Casazza, acting Director of UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa and Manager of the Resilience Hub for Africa, stated that the current challenges are indeed "the lack of a universal ratification, domestication and implementation of international and regional treaties, aimed at advancing the rights of women on the continent". These challenges have had negative consequences, with a 48 percent increase in reported Gender Based Violence cases in East African countries alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I hope that by launching these reports, we will have moved a step closer to enhancing accountability and helping stakeholders assess the progress made by member states in implementing gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment commitments," said Dr. Tapiwa Uchizi Nyasulu-Rweyemamu, Head of Women and Gender Policy and Development at the African Union Commission.

In the same vein, Faiza Mohamed, Director of the Africa Office of Equality Now, stated that the purpose of these reports is to strengthen the ability of RECs and civil society organizations to support member states in meeting their gender equality commitments under the AU Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030. "We urge member states to take the necessary steps to guarantee that Africa achieves Sustainable Development Goal 5," she said.

The partnership between UNDP, Equality Now/SOAWR Coalition and the AUC, involves two regional projects, namely "Advancing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (GEWE) in Africa" and "The Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP)". These two studies will make a substantial contribution towards the completion of these projects by providing key data and evidence-based resources to support member states in meeting their commitments.

About UNDP 

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow us @undpafrica on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About the AU

The African Union is a continental body that leads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with the 55 member states, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. The vision of African Union is to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous, and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, and effectively driven by an accountable, efficient, and responsive Commission. Learn more at: 

About APHRC 

The African Population and Health Research Center is the continent’s premier research institution and think tank, generating evidence to drive policy action to improve the health and wellbeing of African people. Learn more at or follow us @aphrc on Twitter.

For more information, contact: 

Housam Silim, Gender and Communications Analyst, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, 

Tapiwa Uchizi Nyasulu-Rweyemamu, Head of Women & Gender Policy and Development, African Union, 

Florence Sipalla, Communications Manager, African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC),