Global Resources

Do Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) address gender? A gender audit of 2002 PRSPs

Author: E. Zuckerman, A. Garrett
Publisher: Southern African Regional Poverty Network
Publication Date: Jan 2003
Can progress be seen on gender in the 13 Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) produced in 2002? Yes - but there is a long way to go before gender issues are thoroughly integrated. Encouragingly, the PRSPs from Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia 'almost' mainstream gender. The majority, however, confine consideration of gender issues to, typically, maternal health and girls' education. In fact, two PRSPs virtually ignore gender. Most are missing adequate sex-disaggregated data, and consideration of gendered poverty characteristics and women's rights. None of the Papers seek to engender trade liberalisation and privatisation. Importantly, where figures are provided, women are significantly under-represented in any consultations. Gender advocacy therefore needs to continue and deepen, and focus on forthcoming PRSPs and those being updated. If poverty reduction is to be achieved, attention must move beyond the Papers themselves to financing and effective implementation of any gendered content.