UNDP and Gender in Africa
Africa has made steady progress in the area of genderequality and women’s empowerment over the last tenyears. Gender parity in primary education is likely to beachieved by most countries and the proportion of womenin parliaments has been increasing, from 15% in 2009 to18.5% in 2010.The share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector has also improved, with near parity incountries such as Ethiopia (47%) and South Africa (44%).Overall, the number of countries that have mainstreamedgender in their national development plans has increasedover the past five years.However, major challenges remain, some of themstemming from deep structural inequalities. There hasbeen little advancement in improving maternal mortality,for instance. In addition, while 85% of men are employedthroughout the region, only 62.9% of women are. Finally,enormous challenges remain in the areas of violenceagainst women and 58% of the 22.4 million living with HIVin Africa are women.Women in Africa will continue to bear much of theconsequences of external shocks such as climate changeand the global economic crisis. They take overallresponsibility for securing food, water and energy for theirfamilies and communities. Prioritizing women’s health,education, political participation and access to paid work can have powerful spill-over effects on many MDG targets,including poverty reduction, food security, primary schooleducation and HIV/AIDS.
UNDP in Action
UNDP works with governments and communities topromote women’s empowerment and gender equality in45 African countries, integrating them into four focusareas: poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisisprevention and recovery and environment and sustainabledevelopment.
• We help integrate gender considerations in nationalplans and policies:
UNDP has been working with Africancountries to elevate the debate on gender to the nationallevel, helping them to plan, budget and implementdevelopment strategies that take gender into account.• In June 2010,
’s Makerere Universitylaunched Africa’s first Master's Degree in Gender-AwareEconomics, developed in collaboration with UNDP. Theone-year programme will provide African policy-makerswith the knowledge to incorporate gender in economicpolicy-making.• Our technical support contributed to theadoption by a number of African countries of nationalvisions and development strategies that take genderconsiderations fully into account (
Benin, Burkina Faso,Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal,Zambia
). To date, 16
ministries have developedgender-responsive budgets with technical support fromUNDP.• We are collaborating with the UN EconomicCommission for Africa to support regional institutionsinvolved in gathering statistics that include gender-disaggregated data, such as the African Centre forStatistics. We are also directly working with 12 countries tohelp them analyze such data.• We have been helping African countries to tacklegender as part of the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF),which helps them to identify bottlenecks and practicalsolutions on specific MDG targets. The MAF is now being