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Gender Equality

Investing in gender equality for Africa’s transformation

Without gender equality, there can be no development

The Gender Strategy is a central part of the Bank’s ambitious vision for Africa based on the reality that gender equality is integral to Africa’s economic and social development. The vision includes creating opportunities for women, disavantaged and marginalised people and communities so they can participate in and benefit from the development of their communities and nations.

25 Apr 2016

Empowering women and girls in the quest for universal energy access for all

Africa has ample energy resources (including fossil fuels and renewables), enough to meet its energy needs, yet the continent struggles to ensure that this bounty reaches its people. Over two thirds of Africans lack  access to modern energy. Sub-Saharan Africa is significantly affected, where just 290 million out of 915 million people have electricity access; and nearly 730 million Africans rely on the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking.Women and girls (especially in rural and peri-urban areas) are mainly responsible for procuring and using cooking fuels. They therefore tend to...
06 Apr 2016

Building a career despite the odds

When I look back on a career of 50 years striving to expand choices for women, one of the proudest accomplishments I share with other feminists of my generation is that while young women of today face challenges, they are very different from the barriers we confronted. While there is still much to do, we have come a long way.Fifty-five years ago, I was expected to do well in school, and choose a career like nursing or teaching so I could be at home with the children after school. I was told that I should be careful how much I participated in class so as not to scare off the boys, since...
01 Apr 2016

Getting women off financial sidelines: Initiatives for gender equality in Africa

As the world marks the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016, access to affordable finance for female entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers through the provision of “equal economic opportunity for all” continues to be discussed extensively. This year’s theme, Pledge for Parity, calls on all individuals to join forces to ensure gender parity. It is most relevant as women have long been excluded from formal financial processes and have had to turn to the informal sector (savings schemes and cash transfers) to support unmet financial needs. The roots of this gender gap are multifaceted....
07 Mar 2016

Addressing gender barriers through a common but differentiated approach

Gender is an important universal concept when understood comprehensively through its many multilayered features. I view it in its common but differentiated approach. Historically, the matriarchal period of human society enjoyed the climax of female-headed societies that gradually gave way to the emergence of a patriarchal period, with man as the leading figure in society.So the issue now is how to harmonise these two historical facts in order to realise and maximize the full potential of female and male members of society. Drawing from the lessons learnt and wide knowledge of the subject, the...