The Participation and Human Rights category measures three subcategories: Participation, Rights, and Gender. These are Board Member Mary Robinson’s thoughts on the importance of this category:
In preparing an index illustrating outcomes in the areas of Participation & Human Rights, it is clear that participation is much easier to assess and measure. Of course, participation encompasses and overlaps with areas of human rights, such as the right to vote, the right to a fair election, and freedom to express views on political issues and to hold government accountable for commitments made under national and international law. When we look back at the development of the international human rights system over the past 60 years there is a significant gap in implementation which poses a problem in developing an index to measure outcomes in a comparable way in all countries in Africa.
Despite the present gap, and the weakness in data, I believe the IIAG is making a significant contribution. It is exerting a healthy pressure on the UN and others to develop more practical ways to compare the human rights record of African countries. By offering the best measurements and relevant data the Index can find at present, it is creating a demand – which civil society in each country should champion – for better performance measurements. What an innovative way to enhance protection and promotion of human rights in African countries.