n African Human Rights Law Journal - Towards the adoption of guidelines for state reporting under the African Union Protocol on Women's Rights : a review of the Pretoria Gender Expert Meeting, 6-7 August 2009 : recent developments

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



The article examines the results of and insights from the Pretoria Gender Expert Meeting which was convened with the primary purpose of developing state reporting guidelines under the African Women's Protocol. The focus of the article is the draft guidelines that were adopted at the end of the meeting, and the process and deliberations that yielded that draft. The Pretoria Draft Guidelines clears up the uncertainty regarding how a report under the Protocol should be grafted into a report under the African Charter in terms of article 26 of the Women's Protocol. As a set of guidelines, it seeks to achieve clarity and precision in three ways: by requiring states to report in terms of a list of measures of implementation; by drawing a clear distinction in the nature of information required in respect of first and subsequent reports; and by grouping the provisions of the Protocol into thematic clusters for reporting purposes. In the final analysis, it is concluded that the Pretoria Draft Guidelines provide a promising platform for the invigoration of the African Commission's state reporting mechanism and, by extension, the promotion and protection of women's rights in Africa. However, it has been noted that the effectiveness and impact of the reporting guidelines (and that of the reporting system as a whole) will depend on at least three other factors: the effective dissemination of the guidelines; the harmonisation of reporting guidelines; and the general reform of the African Commission's reporting mechanism.

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