Promoting gender equality and human rights in Africa

Promotion of human rights and empowerment of women in Africa (AWARE)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2023 to 2026

  • Products and expertise

    Governance and democracy

Several women pose for a group photo.


In many African nations, long-standing social norms and practices still create barriers to achieving gender equality and empowering women. Patriarchal societal norms and structures, which are grounded in unequal power between women and men, persist in various aspects of society. They limit women and girls’ full participation in economic, social and political spheres of life, making it harder for them to thrive.

The African Union (AU) has made several commitments through legal frameworks such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo protocol), and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). Policy documents including the AU Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) and the AU’s Agenda 2063 underscore these commitments. While most AU Member States have constitutions that forbid gender-based discrimination and harmful social norms and practices, the implementation of such commitments remains a challenge.

A woman seated in a chair, holding a microphone, ready to speak.© Photo: GIZ


The ability of the AU, its Member States and other actors to implement continental commitments on human rights and gender equality has improved.


The project leverages the 3Rs approach – rights, resources, and representation – to support human rights and women’s empowerment across Africa, in collaboration with the AU and its affiliates. It involves:

  • enhancing women’s and girls’ access to continental human rights redress mechanisms by improving the ability of women’s networks to promote and protect women’s rights,
  • supporting the implementation of AU initiatives for financial and economic inclusion, specifically aiming to improve women’s access to financial resources and
  • promoting increased participation of women in political and economic decision-making processes.

Last update: December 2023

Additional information