By Agnes Ngoma Leslie

This publication examines social activities in Africa, interpreting how they emerge and the way they might influence public coverage, the criminal and political state of affairs, and the society by way of concentrating on the next query: How do women's political and felony rights get prolonged and institutionalized in a patriarchal democratic society?

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Additional resources for Social Movements and Democracy in Africa: The Impact of Women's Struggles for Equal Rights in Botswana

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It requires African governments to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in Africa and to promote equality between women and men. The document also commits African governments, if they have not already done so, to include in their national constitutions and other legislative instruments these fundamental principles and ensure their effective implementation. But while the adoption of the Protocol may be a significant step, the major challenge is the implementation of the recommendations.

This view, which is also emphasized in the African or Banjul Charter (OAU, 1981) argues that these rights are as important as civil and political ones. Proponents of this view take into consideration Africa’s economic and development situation. Ake (1987) argues that the Western concept of human rights is irrelevant in Africa because the majority of the people are still struggling for basic existence. The problem with this view is that it downplays the need for individual rights and minimizes the importance of civil and political rights tending to contradict the principle of human dignity which many leaders, including Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda (1967), advocate.

In Western countries, including England, France, and the United States, the legal and political roots of human rights were formed from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. As a result of the philosophical and legal writings of Hugo Grotius, John Locke, Baron Charles de Montesquieu, and Thomas Jefferson, a new concept of popular sovereignty and individual rights emerged that was based on the relationship of individuals to others in society (Pollis and Schwab, 1979). Also, during this time Western society underwent radical transformations of socioeconomic values and infrastructure.

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