Maputo Protocol: Promise versus Reality

This paper provides a vigorous and critical examination of the significance and worth of the Maputo Protocol as a regional treaty. In assessing the contradictions between what is apparently promised in the Maputo Protocol and the actual position of rights enjoyed by women in Africa, the paper considers three key indicators, namely: ratifications and reservations, contents and compatibility, and interpretation and enforcement. It posits that achieving the utopian vision of gender-equal African societies is hindered by religious and cultural factors which are antithetical to the texts and aim of the Maputo Protocol.