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Perspectives on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in Africa: Progress towards achieving the MDGs BY ABDOULIE JANNEH Executive Secretary Economic.

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Presentation on theme: "Perspectives on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in Africa: Progress towards achieving the MDGs BY ABDOULIE JANNEH Executive Secretary Economic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perspectives on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in Africa: Progress towards achieving the MDGs BY ABDOULIE JANNEH Executive Secretary Economic Commission for Africa

2 PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS The year 2010 is a significant milestone: Five years remaining to account for MDG obligations. Gender equality and womens empowerment are a sine qua non to development: Economic growth cannot be achieved without them. Gender equality is an imperative to the achievement of all the MDGs


4 GOAL 2: UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION Success story in Africa Parity in some countries (e.g. The Gambia, Gabon, Malawi, Mauritius, Mauritania, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles and Uganda) Imminent in others (e.g. Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, and United Republic of Tanzania). But challenges with retention, progression to higher levels, violence against girls and increasing signs of boy drop outs in a number of countries (e.g. Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia).

5 GOAL 3: GENDER EQUALITY & WOMENS EMPOWERMENT An estimated 90% of African Constitutions endorse gender equality and affirmative action (e.g. Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe). Eleven (11) countries have achieved parity in secondary education (e.g. Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde), an estimated 8 countries have achieved parity at tertiary level (e.g. Lesotho, Libya, Mauritius, South Africa and Tunisia). Southern and East Africa in lead on parliamentary quotas. Five SADC countries achieved 30% representation (Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa). However, womens participation in Executive, Judicial, Traditional and other public spheres visibly low across most countries. Womens participation in non-agricultural wage employment mainly at lower echelons e.g. the Public Sector as secretaries and clerks and worst in the security forces where they represent an estimated 8%.

6 GOAL 4: SOME CHILD HEALTH INDICATORS RegionU5MR/1,000 Live BirthsProgress Towards the MDG Target 19902006 Sub-Saharan Africa187160Insufficient Progress East Africa171123Insufficient Progress Southern Africa125146No Progress Central Africa187193No Progress West Africa215183Insufficient Progress North Africa8235On Track World9372Insufficient Progress


8 GOAL 6: COMBATTING HIV/AIDS AND MALARIA Women and Girls are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to culturally determined roles Available data indicates that HIV prevalence among female adults (aged 15-49) is highest in Southern Africa and lowest in North Africa Malaria remains the main cause of morbidity and mortality for all ages but some progress in availability of insecticide treated nets

9 GOAL 7: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY Focus of ECAs ADF VII will be on climate change. Impacts of climate change on rural livelihoods are not gender neutral as they deepen and widen existing gender inequalities in the contexts of e.g. increased water stress, food insecurity and ill-health Direct impacts include the need for women and young girls to walk longer distances in search of water and care for the sick. Scant attention generally being paid in Africa to the interface between gender and climate change in policy design and implementation.

10 GOAL 8: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT The next issue of the ECAS African Womens Report will be devoted to the subject of Financing for Gender Equality in Africa. A number of countries e.g. Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana are undergoing gender budgeting initiatives at national and sector levels. Nevertheless, emerging from studies on government public spending and ODA inflows is the difficulty in tracking linkages to achieving gender equality especially at the level of Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks, National Budgets and Monitoring and Evaluation.

11 CONCLUSIONS Africa is showing mixed progress across sub regions and countries per MDG and MDG indicator. Chances of MDG achievement in their entirety very unlikely across countries. Shocks influencing achievement of the MDGs in Africa include conflict, the slow pace of political and economic governance, the financial crisis, limited preparedness for the consequences of climate change and limited containment of professional expertise in critical sectors.

12 ROAD MAP Rigorous accountability to gender concerns through commitment to collection of data disaggregated by sex, gender mainstreaming in policy design, budgeting, implementation and monitoring remains important. The provision of incentives for countries which are doing well in the area of gender equality within the context of the MDGs. Research is required on the impact of climate change on all sectors, with emphasis on food security, health, education and migration within the context of gender relations. The adoption of Gender Responsive Budgeting would be good as a practice but also as a legal and moral imperative. It would be important to assess the impact of the persisting brain drain on African health systems.

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