Global Resources

The Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Africa: Does the protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa offer any hope?

Author: S Kamga
Publisher: Center for Women Policy Studies
Publication Date: Feb 2011
This paper is part of the Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on women and girls with disabilities. It considers how the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (or the African Women’s Protocol) addresses and protects the rights of disabled women. The protocol has a specific article for the protection of women with disabilities (article 23). The paper looks at:

• The situation of women with disabilities in Africa
• The impact of article 23 on the rights of disabled women within the African Women’s Protocol
• The guidelines for state reporting on the protocol

The paper argues that a single provision on the rights of women with disabilities is not enough to address the challenges faced by disabled women. It makes recommendations for improved provisions that are less vague and specifically refer to key areas such as the rights to health, education, work and employment, and to be free from exploitation, violence and abuse. It also makes suggestions to improve state reporting on women with disabilities under reporting methods for the protocol, so that the multifaceted discrimination they face can be better recognised and addressed.