Africa Human Development Reports

27 Aug 2016
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Africa Human Development Report 2016:

Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa

Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardising the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016.

The report analyses the political, economic and social drivers that hamper African women’s advancement and proposes policies and concrete actions to close the gender gap. These include addressing the contradiction between legal provisions and practice in gender laws; breaking down harmful social norms and transforming discriminatory institutional settings; and securing women’s economic, social and political participation.

Deeply-rooted structural obstacles such as unequal distribution of resources, power and wealth, combined with social institutions and norms that sustain inequality are holding African women, and the rest of the continent, back. The report estimates that a 1 percent increase in gender inequality reduces a country’s human development index by 0.75 percent.

Highlights

  • Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
  • More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
  • Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa’s food insecurity.
  • African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
  • Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region.

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