Ver Angola

Society

Government points to early marriage and pregnancies as "barriers" to a prosperous Africa

The Secretary of State for Family and Advancement of Women praised this Tuesday the "remarkable progress" of many African countries towards women's rights, pointing out however early marriages and pregnancies as "barriers" to development.

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Elsa Barber, who was speaking in Luanda at a seminar on women's human rights in Africa, considered that gender equality is still a concern, in view of the disparities between women and men, even though Angola is one of the signatory countries of the Maputo Protocol, an international human rights instrument established by the African Union that guarantees women's rights.

"We unconditionally support the implementation of the Maputo Protocol," said the Secretary of State, adding that African women need to receive full training in all areas of knowledge, see their rights guaranteed and be free from all forms of discrimination that are impediments to their full development.

"It is essential that the african girl and young woman complete the cycles of education and not experience circumstances of early marriage and pregnancy that constitute barriers to the effective building of a peaceful, prosperous and integral Africa," stressed Barber, considering that "there is still much to be done for the rights of women in Angola".

Barber noted, however, that "notable progress" has been made in many African countries, due to the implementation of measures that promote the empowerment of women, good governance, rule of law, education, basic services and economic growth, despite the regression in some countries due to covid-19.

In the same meeting, which aimed to discuss the regional experience in the implementation of the Maputo Protocol and the preparation of reports, was attended by representatives from Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe, as well as Ana Celeste Januário, Secretary of State for Human Rights and Citizenship, who pointed out some challenges, including violence against women.

The Government has adopted several measures aimed at strengthening the protection of women's rights, among which the creation of a legal framework that places men and women at the same level in terms of rights and duties, provisions that reinforce the principle of equality and increased penalties for crimes against women in the criminal code, she said.

Ana Celeste Januário also noted that these impulses have allowed the rise of a larger number of women to leadership positions, so that currently it can be said that angolan women are represented at different levels, although it is necessary to "improve in order to achieve parity.

"We are aware that we can do better and find ways for improvements to become real", concluded the same official.

The seminar was organized by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).