Africa: Putting Women’s Voices At the Centre – a Comprehensive Report On the State of Gender Equality in Africa

The African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and UN Women unveiled details of its Africa Gender Index report during a virtual global dissemination event that took place on 01 December 2020. The online event drew more than 150 participants from government, development institutions, the private sector and civil society who discussed ways to accelerate progress for women and girls in Africa.

The Graça Machel Trust Interim, CEO and Programmes Director Dr Shungu Gwarinda joined a panel of experts during the virtual launch of the Global Launch of the Africa Gender Index Report to exchange views on crucial steps and innovative approaches that need to be explored to transform and improve the state of gender equality on the continent.

In her remarks on some best practices that can be used to shape social-economic policies targeting women & priorities moving forward post Covid-19, Dr Gwarinda emphasised on the importance of putting women’s voices at the centre of any solutions by listening to their experiences, needs and solutions through the pandemic. “Making data and information available so that women’s voices have agency and are informed to actively participate in forums targeting them to inform key policies and paying attention to women who operate at the informal sector which has been hard hit by the pandemic, with the hard lockdowns, the border closures that lead to the risk of many women losing their livelihoods,” she said.

Among other things, the report highlights important initiatives and policies being taken across the continent to raise the status of African women and empower them to play an equal role in political, economic and social life. The Africa Gender Index has also highlighted major gender gaps, showing us that there is an urgent need to accelerate and extend these efforts to empower African girls and women.

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