Gender-based violence violates women's human rights and poses a serious threat to public health in sub-Saharan Africa, just as it does in the rest of the world. Governments are legally obligated to address the problem through a range of measures, including legislation. A new publication, Gender-based Violence Laws in Sub-Saharan Africa, can be a useful tool both for government officials and advocates throughout the region who are seeking effective measures to eliminate violence against women.
With a specific focus on rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence, the report documents examples of legislation in sub-Saharan Africa designed to combat gender-based violence and evaluates how law can effectively address the challenges associated with violence against women. It provides an overview of the widespread prohibitions on gender-based violence in international and regional instruments, and examines constitutional and legislative provisions of selected sub-Saharan states. Gender-based Violence Laws in Sub-Saharan Africa also highlights general considerations to be taken into account in drafting and implementing such legislation and features good and best practices embraced by states that are prerequisites to properly implementing gender-based violence legislation.
This publication was prepared for the Committee on African Affairs of the New York City Bar in collaboration with the Center for Reproductive Rights, as part of a pro bono project coordinated by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice.