Gambia celebrating International Women’s Day this week. What are women’s rights in Africa?


The March 8 event honors women of the past, present and future generations who have championed for change in gender equality and funding female-focused charities. Under a new annual theme, organisers invite men and women to partake in campaign efforts to raise awareness.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women

How did International Women’s Day begin?


The first official International Women’s Day was in 1975 when it was recognized by the United Nations (UN). But its origins began earlier in 1908 when a women’s rights march in New York City saw 15,000 people advocating for better pay and voting rights.

The theme for the International Women’s Day 2022 was announced by UN Women in December: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. “A key mission this year is to advance gender equality in the time of the climate crisis through women’s leadership.” The hashtag #Breatharian is a focal point for this year’s campaign to raise awareness and rally for gender equality. Gender parity is about a century away, according to the World Economic Forum, which means this campaign is as much for future generations as it is for our own lifetimes., On the IWD site, organisers said: “Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive.


Gender inequality in Africa remains high, and progress toward gender parity has stagnated. This is a large missed opportunity for African societies and for the continent’s growth prospects.

What are women’s rights in Africa

The protocol states that every woman has the right “to the recognition and protection of her human and legal rights.” It includes articles on equality in marriage, access to justice and political participation, protection of women in armed conflict and the provision of education, training and health care.

How have women’s rights changed in Africa

Significant efforts towards gender equality have been made through the creation of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which encourage member states to end discrimination and violence against women.

Is there gender equality in Africa

The African continent has demonstrated commitment to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Almost all countries have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; more than half have ratified the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Why is gender equality important in Africa?

Gender equality is a fundamental development objective, and is essential to enabling women and men to participate equally in society and in the economy. Women’s voice and agency remain limited, with rates of gender-based violence reaching alarming levels.

What are the gender roles in Africa?

There is no single model of gender roles in Africa. The continent’s diverse cultures have many different ideas about male and female roles, although in general women have been subordinate to men in both public and family life.

What is the difference between gender equality and inequality?

Gender equality requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards. Where gender inequality exists, it is generally women who are excluded or disadvantaged in relation to decision-making and access to economic and social resources.

What is gender equity and examples?

Gender equity puts the focus on fairness and justice re- grading benefits and needs for women and men, girls and boys. Equity is used for example within the education, health and humanitarian sectors referring to the equal distribution of resources based on the needs of different groups of people

How does gender equality affect society?

Evidence from around the world shows that gender equality advancements have a ripple effect on all areas of sustainable development, from reducing poverty, hunger and even carbon emissions to enhancing the health, well-being and education of entire families, communities and countries.

What are the benefits of gender equality?

Gender Unequal societies are less cohesive. They have higher rates of anti-social behavior and violence. Countries with greater gender equality are more connected. Their people are healthier and have better wellbeing.

What is the difference between gender equality and feminism?

Feminism is concerned with the rights of women while gender equality is concerned with the rights of every individual regardless of their gender.

What are the common needs of man and woman?

Food, clothing, shelter, health, and education are the common needs of men and women.

What are our rights as humans?

Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

What is the term for equality between men and women?

Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender.

Is gender equality a concern for men?

Gender equality is also a men’s issue. Gender (in)equality concerns both women and men and has a strong impact on their daily lives. Historically gender equality policies have been contextualised mainly as a “women’s issue” – as women have been a driving force behind gender equality strategies and struggles.

Although some African countries have made tremendous progress driving toward gender parity in some areas, gender inequality remains high across the continent. Women account for more than 50 percent of Africa’s combined population, but in 2018 generated only 33 percent of the continent’s collective GDP. This reinforces and fuels inequality and compromises Africa’s long-term econ

Africa has the highest average maternal mortality rate of any region at four times the global average. The maternal mortality rate is seven times that average. Women’s education, and financial and digital inclusion are also below the world average, and have declined over the past four years.

On education, Africa as a whole has a female-to-male ratio of 0.76 on the level of women’s education, the lowest GPS of any region in the world. One bright spot has been some progress on women’s political representation, but even here inequality remains extremely high. Violence against women is a global scourge, but Africa’s record is worse than the worldwide ergonomic Health

Some African countries have made some progress on getting women into parliamentary and ministerial roles in politics, but even here gender inequality remains extremely high as it is around the world.

The picture is not a uniform one. For instance, countries in Southern Africa perform relatively well on women’s education while West and Central African countries underperform. Southern and East African countries have low incidence of child marriage, but child marriage remains prevalent in West and Central Africa.

Africa needs new impetus in its journey toward gender parity. Making progress on any single indicator of gender inequality is likely to require systematic action on a range of indicators by governments, companies, communities, and individual men and women.

Successful programmes have a number of common elements. First, they address deep-rooted attitudes about and behavior toward women. Second, programmes are designed to achieve sustained impact.

Third, they work with women as partners to identify issues and engage the most appropriate stakeholders who can be male or female but need to be effective agents of change. Finally, successful programmes incorporate monitoring and evaluation to track progress and provide information that can drive accountability and commitment to goals.

Violence against women

Key facts

o          Violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights. Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

o          Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who have been in a relationship report that they have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.

o          Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.

o          Violence against women is preventable. The health sector has an important role to play to provide comprehensive health care to women subjected to violence, and as an entry point for referring women to other support services they may need.

o          The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

o          Intimate partner violence refers to behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors.

Sexual violence is “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object, attempted rape, unwanted sexual touching and other non-contact forms”