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Changes and Challenges in Children and Women’s Rights in Africa
an article by Stephen Vunganai

The Global Youth Foundation in Zimbabwe is a youth led movement that is advocating for women and girl’s rights. The organization is conducting sustainable dialogue, seminars, outreach programs and media as a way to conscientise the women and the girls about the continued abuses of their rights. It is this plight that has also hindered global development and the effective implementation of international human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. This has emerged as a cause for concern to all the policy makers, the international community, Heads of States and Governments and the Civil Society but nothing much of paramount importance has been achieved precipitating into a cyclical nature of abuses.

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Women and children in the region of the world have been driven into the peripheries of the society and have been labeled second hand citizens by men. Women have not fully been given an effective platform to participate in policy making decisions and community development and to exercise their right to political and religious freedom of expression. Just like women, the children in Sub-Saharan Africa especially the girl child have faced continuing violations of their rights to education, freedom of expression and the civil privileges of the citizens.

Women in Sub-Saharan just all other women have the right to freedom of expression both religiously and politically, freedom from incessant torture or slavery, access to education and the right to property ownership. These are the core and inherent rights that the women in Sub-Saharan Africa are continuously being denied. The major setback to checking these incessant and cyclical violations is the marginalization of women and under-representation within their communities, nations and states that are tasked in implementing human rights standards. This is a major setback to development in this part of the world. It has also led to problems such as “feminization” of HIV/AIDS in which many women are infected due to their dependence on males who have reinforced their control on women through violence, often sexual. To counteract these problems is the motivating basis of the Global Youth Foundation


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Each year we get overviews of the state of human rights in the world from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

This report was posted on August 5, 2012.