New reports the African Development Bank has produced on Benin, Djibouti, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Liberia show the countries have successfully put national policies in place to advance gender equality. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened the challenges women face.
Prepared in collaboration with the countries and the international partner, UN Women, the Bank’s country gender profiles evaluate gender equality and offer recommendations to drive parity across a range of metrics. These include strategies to bolster the responsiveness of development initiatives.
“The country gender profiles are timely as countries define actions and policies to support recovery from the pandemic. Gender data and analysis are critical but remain limited, slowing the achievement of the gender agenda. We hope these reports will help address this important challenge,” said Amel Hamza, Acting Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society at the Bank.
Benin, Djibouti, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Liberia have achieved progress in addressing discriminatory laws and policies, the reports show. In addition to establishing national gender policies, the five countries also have institutional mechanisms dedicated to gender equality, such as the Gender Ministry, Gender focal points (and other examples from the profiles).
The reports nonetheless conclude that women remain disproportionately affected by poverty, and that the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated gender inequality. During the pandemic, women experienced an increase in gender-based violence, and bore the burden of performing unpaid work or low-paying labor in the informal sector. The reports recommend that gender equality be prioritized in Covid-19 recovery programs.
The Bank issued its first Country Gender Profiles in 2004. The latest publications in the series are part of a roll out of its new Gender Strategy for 2021-2025: “Investing in Africa’s women to accelerate inclusive growth.”
To download the Country Gender Profiles, click here