Gender & Youth

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    “Strengthening rural livelihoods in the face of rapid urbanisation in Africa” was the topic of a Brussels Briefing organised on 20 March by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), BMZ/GIZ and partners. Thomas Allen, from the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) participated in a panel discussion on rural transformation and job creation. His presentation argued that although the farming sector will continue to provide the most jobs, labour is increasingly moving out of farming, requiring people to develop different skills. Read on
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    Several decades of gender debates, special events and development goals dedicated to the empowerment of women, add up to only modest improvements on the ground. “What should count, though, is not the number of commitments we make, but the true progress we achieve on the ground […] If men were ready to help women, things would move much faster,” points out Julia Wanjiru from the Sahe land West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) in an article published on the OECD Insights blog. Read on
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    Since 1985, 8 March has been a public holiday in Burkina Faso. Thomas Sankara had the idea to keep women from going the market on that day, and demand that men do the shopping and cooking instead. This inversion of gender roles was intended to remind men about the realities of the daily grind of their wives, mothers and sisters, and to, above all, allow men to experience those things first-hand. The president of Burkina Faso also left his mark by making himself a tireless advocate for women prostitutes. Read on
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    As we mark International Women’s Day today with a large number of events organised across West Africa, it is a timely moment to look at progress made and remaining obstacles to achieving gender equality. The SWAC Secretariat has prepared a series of articles, documents, maps & facts. Did you know? Since 1984, 8th of March is a public holiday in Burkina Faso. Read on
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    Women in West Africa - as in many other parts of the world - remain largely underrepresented in the political sphere. When we look at the national percentages, women occupy only 421 seats in West African parliaments, representing 16.1% of all lawmakers. Twelve out of the 17 West African countries have averages that are below the world average of 23.3%. Senegal is a notable exception. Read on
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    ECOWAS ministers met on 9 February 2017 in Abidjan to discuss how to make faster progress on gender equality and equity within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Côte d’Ivoire’s Vice-President Daniel Duncan participated in the opening session and encouraged ministers to take ownership of the newly approved roadmap, which aims to accelerate the implementation of Supplementary Act on Equal Rights for Men and Women for Sustainable Development in the Community. Read on
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    The World Bank has published the results of a learning outcomes assessment that was carried out in 2014 in ten Francophone African countries, including seven in West Africa. It reveals that, in general, there are still significant gender and social disparities when it comes to access to education in the region. Read on
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    While Côte d’Ivoire has recorded strong growth over the past five years, the country lags behind in education. The decade of crisis strongly affected the education system and the level of schooling in the country, exacerbating inequalities faced by girls, children from rural areas and children from poor families. A recent World Bank report makes a number of recommendations to reduce administrative expenses, purchase equipment and introduce a more effective financial aid system for families. Read on
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    The German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development published a draft report called, “Cornerstones of a Marshall Plan with Africa,” advocating for a new partnership between Africa and Europe. Ten starting points have been put forward for discussion, mainly focusing on youth, employment, private sector engagement, African ownership and solutions. Read on
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    Séga Diarrah, president of the “Bi-Ton” Collective, which brings together some 60 associations to promote democracy and employment in Mali, recognises that the 27th Africa-France Summit, which was held in Bamako on 13-14 January 2017, was a success for Mali. Relations between France and Africa are nevertheless questionable. According to Diarrah, France continues to benefit from Africa, especially through its large companies that are active on the continent, without addressing Africans’ real concerns about co-operation. Read on

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