The Republic of Congo signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 27th of February 2004 and ratified it more than seven years later on the 14th of December 2011. Referred as Congo-Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo became independent in 1960. Civil war and militia have inundated the country for many years in part due to the country’s offshore oil wealth. Despite the relative calm in the country, there are still many refugees, which present a humanitarian crisis. Although the status of women has improved in Congo, there are still few women in leadership positions. Women lack access to education, heath care, and other basic amenities. Violence against women and societal discrimination against women remain widespread in the Republic of Congo.
2015 Constitution has multiple relevant provisions including:
- Article 15: All Congolese citizens are equal before the law and have right to the protection of the State
- Article 17: The woman has the same rights as the man. The law guarantees parity and assures the promotion as well as the representativeness of women in all political, elective and administrative functions.
- Article 232: A Consultative Council of Women is instituted[,] responsible for emitting opinions on the condition of women and of making suggestions to the Government aiming to promote the integration of women into the development.
Electoral Law amended to include 30% quota to local elections; Article 67: “The presentation of candidates for local elections must take into account the representativeness of women in at least 30% for each list of candidates , on the one hand, and the positioning of women, while respecting the rigorous alternation with the upper third, in the municipalities on the other hand.”
The 2017-2021 National Gender Policy “targets, among other things, education in the family and at school because education in equality of girls and boys is essential if we want to fight, from childhood, the gender determinism and deconstruct sexist stereotypes. If we want to promote the place and the image of women in school books and in the media.”
Law No. 21-2018 of June 13, 2018 setting the rules for the occupation and acquisition of land and land (Title III: Land ownership rights). On a proposal from the Ministry in charge of women’s issues, it is specified in Article 19 that: “Customs and traditions tending to suppress or restrict the right of women to occupy or acquire customary lands, land or land in urban and peri-urban areas are deemed null and void ”.
One of The National Development Plan (2018-2022)‘s main priorities is to strengthen food security and economic inclusion of the poor and women especially in rural areas.
The Republic of Congo’s 2015 Constitution is available at: https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Congo_2015.pdf?lang=en
The Republic of Congo’s 2016 amendments to the Electoral Law is available at: https://aceproject.org/ero-en/regions/africa/CG/congo-brazzaville-electoral-law-amendments-2016
The Republic of Congo’s 2017-2021 Gender Policy is available at: https://info.undp.org/docs/pdc/Documents/COG/Programme%20National%20Leadership%20f%C3%A9minin%20en%20politique%20en%20r%C3%A9publique%20du%20Congo.pdf
The Republic of Congo’s 2018-2022 National Development Plan is available at: https://dgpd.plan.gouv.cg/images/PND-2018-2022—Cadre-stratgique-de-dveloppement.pdf