The Second Edition of the African Human Development Report (2016) is Launched in TanzaniaNov 29, 2016
On the 21st of November 2016, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) launched the Africa Human Development Report 2016 whose theme is "Accelerating Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Africa".
The launching ceremony was officiated by Ms. Sihaba Nkinga, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elderly at the Best Western Coral Beach Hotel, Dar es Salaam.
Human development is about expanding human choices - the richness of human life, rather than simply the richness of economies. This idea focuses on people, and their capabilities and opportunities. The Human Development Reports uses this approach to analyse some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity to achieve sustainable progress. This is the second-ever Africa Human Development Report; the first launched in 2012 whose theme was ‘Towards a Food Secure Future can be found here’.
The UNDP 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.
The report states that while the continent is rapidly closing the gender gap in primary education enrolment, African women achieve only 87 percent of the human development outcomes of men, driven mainly by lower levels of female secondary attainment, lower female labor force participation and high maternal mortality.
The report also states that while 61 percent of African women are working they still face economic exclusion as their jobs are underpaid and undervalued, and are mostly in the informal sector.
African women hold 66 percent of the all jobs in the non-agricultural informal sector and only make 70 cents for each dollar made by men. Only between 7 and 30 percent of all private firms have a female manager.
In a key finding, the report estimates that total annual economic losses due to gender inequality in the labour market have averaged US$95 billion per year since 2010 in sub-Saharan Africa and could be as high as US$105 billion, or 6 percent of the region’s GDP in 2014.
Social norms are a clear obstacle to African women’s progress, limiting the time women can spend in education and paid work, and access to economic and financial assets. For instance, African women still carry out 71 percent of water collecting translating to 40 billion hours a year, and are less likely to have bank accounts and to access credit.
Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment cannot be achieved without forging alliances among development actors - government, civil society, private sector and other development partners.
In this perspective the report proposes two major initiatives, the establishment of an African Women’s Investment Bank and the implementation of Gender Seal certification to promote gender equality standards in workplaces.
The report is clear that countries that invest more in gender equality and women’s empowerment are doing better on human development. To ensure Africa’s inclusive growth it is critical that half the continent’s population – girls and women - play transformative roles.
The event also featured a presentation from Dr. Rogers Dhliwayo, Economic Advisor, UNDP Tanzania Country Office, who gave the key highlights from the Africa Human Development Report 2016, followed by discussants remarks from Mr. Timothy Mgonja, Director of Gender, Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elderly; Ms. Anna Mwasha, Director of Poverty Eradication Division, Ministry of Finance and Planning; Ms. Usu Mallya Country Director UN women, Ms. Beng'i Issa, Executive Secretary, National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) and Ms. Christine Warioba, Gender Expert from Tanzania Gender Networking Programme(TGNP).