A DECADE OF MILESTONES HAS NOT BROUGHT EQUALITY FOR AFRICA’S WOMEN, BUT THERE’S HOPE
Women’s Day this year has heightened significance, as 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the related Generation Equality campaign, the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the 10th anniversary of UN Women, the last year of the African Women’s Decade, and the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
There is still inequality in female representation at the highest levels of business and government, but also in the data. We need better data on development indicators for women to understand the full context; identify trends and best practice — so changemakers can build powerful advocacy positions for gender equality.
However, there are some reasons to celebrate progress in the last decade. We’ve picked out below some indicators of progress across the countries covered by the Takwimu.Africa platform. Check out the website for more statistics on female representation in government, girls education and access to health services. And…. let us know if you need specific data for your advocacy campaigns; we know this work doesn’t stop at Women’s Day!
- 2010 — The Partnership Framework in Support of South Africa’s National HIV/AIDS and TB response was signed between the governments of South Africa and USA. This is important because women aged 15–24 years old are four times more likely to have HIV than men of the same age.
- 2011 — Uganda’s legislature has been presided over by Rebecca Kadaga, the first woman to occupy the role.
- 2012 — Kenya launched its flagship agricultural project, the £49 million Kenya Market Assistance Programme, which aims to reduce poverty, including creating jobs for 36,000 women.
- 2013 — Ethiopia experienced GDP growth of 10.4% (2013–14). While the size of earmarked SDG grants to regions has declined from 2013/14 to 2018/19, the federal allocation to the education sector has almost doubled, which is significant for the cross-cutting issue of gender in The Education Sector Development Programme (now on iteration V).
- 2014 — USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) moved away from a sector focus approach towards a more integrated strategy, with cross-cutting activities. That means aid can focus on key segments of the population, with one strategic pillar being women and youth, to promote inclusive broad-based economic growth and to enable effective domestic governance.
- 2015 — Ethiopia initiates GTP II, which draws on the SDGs to focus again on poverty alleviation. Running to 2020, its objective is ensuring that Ethiopia becomes a lower middle-income country by 2025, and recognises the role that women’s empowerment and participation can play in driving a country’s development.
- 2016 — Bank of West African States (BCEAO) developed a regional financial inclusion strategy, adopted by Senegal, for example. The document is a roadmap that provides a vision for financial inclusion for the region, targeting women, as well as rural populations, youth, SMEs and people with low financial literacy.
- 2017 — Zambia’s Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood project is a $65 million project running from 2017–22, part of the Zambia Education Enhancement Project (ZEEP), co-financed by the World Bank
- 2018 — Tanzania’s Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Ally Mwalimu, secured a significant increase in the health budget to public institutions in 2018–19. This shows support for her advocacy efforts, as someone who has developed strong relations between government actors and development partners in the health sector.
- 2019 — Senegal’s new budget, aligned with the government’s growing commitment to tackle social issues, introduces an emphasis on entrepreneurship, especially for women and the youth.
- 2019 — Burkina Faso appoints Léonie Claudine Lougué as Minister for Health under the new government formed by Christophe Dabiré in January 2019. A radiologist by profession, she will focus on expanding access to and quality of healthcare.
- 2020 — Tanzania holds elections. The National Assembly reserves 113 seats for women, to ensure a minimum of 30% representation of women in the legislature.
“The world will never realise 100 percent of its goals if 50 percent of its people cannot realise their full potential. When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.”
Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon