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NEPAD and AU Last update: 2020-11-27  

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NEPAD Reluctance to Address Gender Issues

6. Governmental Reluctance to Address Gender Issues
The pattern of gender fade-away exhibited by NEPAD is nothing new. In fact it is very typical and representative of what may commonly be found in development plans in Africa, of both governments and development agencies. There is a pervasive problem that development agencies and national governments exhibit a lack of political will in addressing gender policies. Instead there tends to be much vague lip-service, involving ill-defined phrases such as ‘gender-sensitive’ and ‘gender-aware implementation’ of development programmes, when in practice these programmes neither identify nor intend to address the important gender issues which affect all women in Africa. Instead their programmes employ ‘watering down’ strategies that serve to overlook, sideline or compartmentalize gender policy imperatives.

Underlying this failure to properly implement gender policies is a quiet but determined patriarchal opposition to policies of gender equality that is pervasive within development agencies, and amongst the government bureaucracies of ‘developing’ countries. Only when we are able to recognize and analyse the obstructive strategies of patriarchal opposition, shall we be able to devise the alternative and counter strategie1s to deal with this sort of opposition.

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