The Central African Republic (CAR) signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 17th of June 2008 but it has not ratified it. Considered as one of the least developed countries in the world, The Central African Republic, which used to be the French colony of Ubangi-Shari before it became independent in 1960. However, since its independence, Due to rebellions, mutinies, and spillover violence from neighbouring countries, the CAR has been an unstable country in permanent crisis. Due to the instability of the country, being a woman is an everyday struggle in CAR. In 2018, Ms. Marie Noelle KOYARA, Minister of Defence stated that “58% of sexual violence cases in CAR are perpetrated by armed groups, defence and security forces and forces from the peace-keeping operations. Women victims of GBV, including those in Defence and Security Forces, represent 90% as opposed to men who make 10% of recorded cases.” As of February 2021, only 8.6% of seats in parliament were held by women (UN Women).
The 2016 Constitution enshrined the principles of non-discrimination and equality as the foundation of national unity, peace and social cohesion. Additionally, Article 7 states “The protection of the woman and of the child against violence and insecurity, exploitation and moral, intellectual and physical neglect[,] is an obligation of the State and the other public authorities. This protection is assured by the appropriate measures and institutions of the State and of the other public authorities.”
The National Recovery and Peace-building Plan 2017-2021 includes the objective to ‘promote gender equality’, noting that “FGM affects about one third of women”.
CAR established the National Committee to Combat Gender-based Violence and Traditional Practices Harmful to Women, including forced marriage.
New Electoral Code Law (Loi n°19‐0011 du 20 août 2019) Art.281: “For the first past the post with two rounds as regards the legislative, senatorial and regional elections, political parties, associations political parties and political groups are required to present at least 35% of female candidates in accordance with the provisions of Article 31, paragraph 4 of the Constitution of March 30, 2016. For municipal elections, the lists of candidates must respect the quota minimum 35% of female candidates required by the law on parity.”
In March 2020, the Minister for the Promotion of Women, Family, and the Protection of Children officially opened the Maison de l’Espoir (House of Hope) shelter in Bangui with the support of an international organisation for victims of gender-based violence and trafficking.
Central African Republic’s 2016 Constitution is available at: https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Central_African_Republic_2016.pdf?lang=en
Central African Republic’s 2017-2021 National Recovery and Peace-building Plan can be found at: https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/774011527677889261/pdf/Central-African-Republic-national-recovery-and-peacebuilding-plan-2017-2021.pdf
2018 CAR National Report is available at: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G18/254/80/PDF/G1825480.pdf?OpenElement
The 2019 Electoral Code Law can be found here: http://www.droit-afrique.com/uploads/RCA-Code-2019-electoral.pdf
US State Trafficking Report (2020), page 148, available at: https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-TIP-Report-Complete-062420-FINAL.pdf