Human rights advances in women’s reproductive health in Africa
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights recently adopted General Comment No 2 to interpret provisions of Article 14 of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights Women. The provisions relate to women’s rights to fertility control, contraception, family planning, information and education, and abortion. The present article highlights the General Comment’s potential to promote women’s sexual and reproductive rights in multiple ways. The General Comment’s human rights value goes beyond providing states with guidance for framing their domestic laws, practices, and policies to comply with treaty obligations. General Comment No 2 is invaluable in educating all stakeholders—including healthcare providers, lawyers, policymakers, and judicial officers at the domestic level—about pertinent jurisprudence. Civil society and human rights advocates can use the General Comment to render the state accountable for failure to implement its treaty obligations.
Authors: Ngwena, Charles G., Eunice, Brookman-Amissah, Patty Skuster