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Africa Human Development Report 2016

Accelerating Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Africa

image of Africa Human Development Report 2016

This 2016 Africa Human Development Report on gender equality follows the 2012 Africa Human Development Report, which looked at the importance of assuring food security for all Africans. The two reports share a common objective of addressing what might be considered two unfinished agenda items on Africa’s development trajectory. Both have long been recognized as important priorities for the governments and citizens of African countries. This year’s report on gender equality reviews the ongoing efforts of African countries to accelerate the pace of assuring women’s empowerment through all spheres of society – in the home and community, in health and educational attainment, in the workplace, and in political participation and leadership. While significant progress has been made across numerous fronts in most countries, gender equality for African women and girls is still far from satisfactory. This report adopts a political economy approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa.

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Legal and social norms impacting gender equality

This chapter reviews the role of legal and social norms in terms of influencing progress in gender equality. While most African countries have ratified or approved a wide range of international and regional norms and conventions, their application is often proscribed by social norms at the local level that impede advances in gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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