Role of Gender Equality in Development in Africa
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Several studies conducted over the years have clearly shown that to achieve long term sustainable development in Africa, women and men must be given equal opportunities to help them rise to their full potential. Gender inequality mainly affects women: they experience poverty in a different way from men because they do not get equal rights and opportunities. Women, especially in Africa, have not yet been included as equal and effective stakeholders in processes that determine their lives. They get subjected to less education, less employment and advancement opportunities. They have limited political representation, and as a result, they do not get a chance to contribute to crucial decision making. In addition, their contribution to national and continental development process goes unnoticed and unrewarded. A report by the World Bank in 2000 identified gender as a key issue affecting three fundamental aspects of fighting poverty in Africa; opportunities, security and empowerment (World Bank, 2000). It also recognized the positive link between gender equality and economic growth. An excellent example is the observation that women prefer that Government spending be more oriented towards the well being of children, local infrastructure, and anti poverty programs. This boosts economic growth, thus, empowering women in political processes would lead to larger allocations towards growth, enhancing Government expenditures. Further more it was discovered that, where influence of women in public life is immense, level of corruption is lower; therefore, women can effectively rule or govern. What role does gender equality play in development of Africa? Gender equality is crucial to a number of key development goals. These goals include; ensuring education for all,...
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