African nations who’ve failed to adopt an ambitious charter dealing with gender-based violence, 16 years after it was first launched, are being urged to do so by fellow African Union (AU) members following a conference on what is known as positive masculinity.
Positive masculinity is about promoting a healthier and emotionally aware view of what it means to be a man in an effort to stop harmful attitudes.
Thirteen member states have yet to ratify the Maputo Protocol on ending violence against women and girls – they are: Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
A new AU campaign – the so-called Kinshasa declaration – aims to help member states build their own positive masculinity campaigns.
Men across the continent are being called upon to be role models for boys.
Thursday’s conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo was called by former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi and the head of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat
The presidents of Senegal, Rwanda, Ghana, Togo, Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya were also there.
They have all committed to reassess their progress on the targets every year.