Monday, March 24, 2003

ETHIOPIA: African Union urged to back women's rights
ADDIS ABABA, 24 MARCH 2003 (IRIN) - The human rights group Amnesty International (AI) has called on the African Union (AU) to back plans to boost and protect the rights of women on the continent.

The call comes as a high level AU ministerial conference meets in Addis Ababa on Monday to discuss plans for strengthening women’s rights.

“The meeting must send an important message to African governments that the human rights of women are an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of internationally recognised human rights,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

A draft protocol on women's rights is expected to be adopted by the Assembly of Heads of the African Union in Maputo, Mozambique, in July.

Amnesty said that many women still face appalling abuse on a daily basis such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, domestic violence and rape.

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