Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) SARPN thematic photo
NEPAD and AU Last update: 2020-11-27  

 Related documents

[previous] [table of contents] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [next]

NEPAD Reluctance to Address Gender Issues

1. Introduction
This paper assesses whether NEPAD (The New Partnership for African Development) can provide the basis for action on issues of gender inequality, and therefore whether the newly formed African Union provides a new opportunity and mechanism for progress towards equal rights for women in Africa.

The assessment of NEPAD’s intention to address gender issues is analysed by looking at NEPAD as a planning sequence, from expression of principles and goals, through to the identification of the specific actions proposed to achieve these goals. The interest is to examine the attention to gender through the sequence of planning steps, looking specifically at the consistency of the logic in the treatment of gender issues as the planning sequence unfolds.

From this analysis it is found that NEPAD begins with some fairly strong statements of principle on the need for gender equality. But this initial commitment fades away as the planning sequence proceeds, leading to no adequate identification of specific gender issues to be addressed, and no strategies and or proposed actions to address gender issues. This is despite the many very serious gender issues that are generally known to be important in the NEPAD priority areas of democracy, good governance and human rights.

This lack of intention to act on women’s rights is seen in the context of the African Union, which is seen as a collection of patriarchal states with a record in this area of high level commitments and low level action. For action on gender issues, the NEPAD document is not seen as a new turning point, but rather as a continuation of the previous miserable record.

Given this evidence of lack of political will within the African Union for action on women’s rights, the paper concludes with some strategic considerations on how feminists and other human rights activists can better push the African Union in the direction of their own formally declared principles and commitments, or otherwise embark on their own independent strategies.

[previous] [table of contents] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [next]

Octoplus Information Solutions Top of page | Home | Contact SARPN | Disclaimer