Gender budgeting vital tool for empowerment of African women
Publication Date: Mar 2014
Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. So said UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in his address to commemorate International Women’s Day 2014. Africa and the African Union (AU) commemorated the day under the theme ‘Stand-Alone Goal on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Post-2015 Agenda’. The present article captures the sentiments and statements of leaders from around world regarding this most auspicious occasion. Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, calls for the transformation of the continent in order to meet its development objectives. Dr. Dlamini-Zuma reminds African leaders that a key part of the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda is the mainstreaming of gender and women’s empowerment throughout all pillars and goals of the development agenda, with specific goals related to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women notes that empowering women and girls would help to solve, “the greatest challenges of our time.” She also calls upon AU member states to ratify, domesticate and implement the Maputo Protocol, a crucial document to the advancement of women’s rights on the continent. The article also includes insights by African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Donald Kaberuka, who underscores that the future prospects of Africa are very much a function of our ability to leave no one behind, to make full use of our talents of our people irrespective of their ethnicity or gender. Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN), Dorothy Adebanjo, share her thoughts about how gender budgeting reduces inequalities and promotes gender-sensitive development policies for poverty reduction. Statistics about the state of women in Africa from sources such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Population Fund are also found in this article. These statistics outline significant problems that persist for women in Africa, including high maternal mortality and HIV-incidence rates, intergenerational poverty, and lack of access to formal financial services.