Twenty years after the African Union adopted the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, constitutional and legislative provisions on women’s rights have proliferated across the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa has achieved some of the world’s highest rates of improvement in women’s economic empowerment. African women have also been at the forefront of global efforts to increase female representation in political and business leadership, peacebuilding, and other areas. But progress on women’s rights has been weaker in the domain of family law on issues including inheritance rights and reproductive freedom. Africa also ranks lowest in closing the gender gap in education, despite major gains at the primary school level.

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