President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the 17 member states of the African Union which signed the 2003 Maputo Protocol to ratify it.
The Maputo Protocol dubbed ‘Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa’, according to President Akufo-Addo is the blueprint for empowering women and young girls, who constitute 51% of Africa’s population.
President Akufo-Addo stated that SDG 5, which defines the goal of gender equality and full female empowerment, is at the heart of the structure of the2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
“We do ourselves and future generations a great disservice if we leave women out of the agenda for development,” he said.
The President made this known on Monday when he opened a forum on the discussion of the Maputo Protocol on the sidelines of the ongoing African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates on the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and as the African Union Gender Champion, the president noted that the promotion of women’s right is central to prospects of progress and prosperity.
“I would, respectfully, entreat the 17 countries on the continent, which are yet to ratify the Protocol, to do so by the year 2020, the target date set by the AU.”
President Akufo-Addo tasked decision-makers from all sectors of life on the continent to support the Maputo Protocol.
“I invite you all to become champions of women’s rights, and agents of change, in and out of your respective borders. Let us remind ourselves that inequality has an unbearable impact and cost on our economy, society and the development of our nations.”
The president affirmed his support in urging all to stand together to create a bold, visible force for gender equality in Africa.