By Veleska Langeveldt
Date of publication: August 2014
Policy Brief No 15: The African Union’s Response to Gender-based Violence
The past 40 years have witnessed a continued scourge of violent conflict, civil war and human rights abuses across the African continent. The most recent examples include the conflicts in Mali, the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. These conflicts have undermined the social, political and economic prosperity of African citizens, with women and children significantly bearing the burden of conflict. This Policy Brief will analyse the response of the African Union (AU) to the gender-based sexual violence that has been committed on an epidemic scale in the conflicts across the continent. These incidents of gender-based violence have witnessed innocent women and girls falling prey to rape, sexual slavery and genital mutilation. This Policy Brief will assess the AU’s policy framework relating to the issue of gender-based violence and analyse its limitations, and presents some concrete policy recommendations to key decision-making institutions and stakeholders on the continent.