The regional conference of West African countries to be held on December 13 and 14, 2021 is an initiative of the Network of Women Leaders for Development.

This regional conference seeks to provide a structured civic space to develop strategic collaborations, develop proposals and vital information with ambitious objectives concerning the respect of human rights in West Africa. This regional consultation, the result of the successful partnership between the Network of Women Leaders for Development (WLD) and its partners, includes political discussions between experts from the African Union, National Human Rights Institutions in East Africa West, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), academic institutions, media and other regional and national stakeholders, as well as development partners.


Africa's development today faces serious challenges. How to explain the numerous cases of violations and the habitual instrumentalization of human rights in African States and how to put an end to these abuses? There are many cases that constitute the paradigm of this instrumentalization and violation where human rights are transformed into hypothetical imperatives and various weapons to be mobilized in political battles.

This tendency is to discriminate against women through occupational segregation which subsequently leads to wage discrimination. During the occurrence of natural disasters like climate change and other phenomena like the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, women are the first victims to be negatively affected, as they are caricatured as having a low level of resilience. Opportunity costs related to lack of access to clean water, for example, fall disproportionately on young girls and women. We can then deduce that human rights are not fully respected in African states due to the ineffectiveness of judicial sanctions.

Natural disasters, conflict, the effects of climate change and other factors related to the Covid-19 pandemic have left large numbers of civilians in need of humanitarian assistance. These people often find themselves in protracted situations where the solutions have become illusory.

Thus, to take concrete measures for more results, women human rights defenders will put in place coherent actions to fight for the respect of human rights. The most important weapon to restore to the African peoples and to combine in the past all the discrimination suffered by women therefore appears to be solidarity.


Main objective : Consolidate the alliances of women human rights defenders for a better development of their socio-cultural and economic rights

Specific objective: Identify strategic collaborations and actions to strengthen the contribution of Women Human Rights Defenders to durable solutions 


At the end of this conference and in view of certain relevant observations, the participants expect that:

  • Full proceedings of the Regional Conference
  • Action plan on the role of Women Human Rights Defenders in the search for durable solutions for the violation of human rights.

Also, from this action plan, the participants will make national pleas that:  

  • Governments put in place mechanisms that are credible, transparent, accountable and accessible to grassroots women.
  • To do this, national human rights institutions must review the laws and practices in force and recommend appropriate reforms. This will put an end to the existing obstacles and guarantee communities the security of their rights as individuals.
  • Carry out independent audits of human rights violations and breaches of national policies for the protection of people in the event of natural disasters.
  • To ensure their accountability with regard to respect for human rights, governments must adopt voluntary standards and ensure that their complaints mechanisms are open and accessible to communities without any discrimination.
  • As guarantors of respect for human rights, the governments of the peoples of West Africa must also adopt international standards of good practice in line with international laws for the protection of human rights, and monitoring that institutions comply with them.


  • Special Rapporteurs of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)
  • Experts from the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC)
  • African National Human Rights Institutions
  • Relevant state actors
  • Development Partners
  • Civil society organizations
  • Media

The deadline for registering for the panel is November 20.

If you are interested in participating, please send us your concept note before the deadline to admin@rflgd.org.

The Network of Women Leaders for Development (WLDN) invites national, regional, and international partners to write to us at the RFLD Secretariat on ADMIN@RFLGD.ORG to be a Partner on this regional meeting.