Addis Ababa, 9 October 2017 (ECA) - The African Centre for Gender is holding an expert group meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to finalize a Regional Report of the African Gender and Development (AGDI).
The two-day meeting began Monday, bringing together some 40 participants. They will provide recommendations that will help the Centre, which leads the work on gender and development within the Economic Commission for Africa, to finalize the report.
Participants include principal secretaries in the ministries overseeing gender affairs and representatives from national statistics offices of Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe from Phase III of the Regional Report, and Chad, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, Mauritania, São Tomé ePrincipe from Phase IV of the Regional Report. Others are statisticians and experts in the areas of focus of the Index.
“When ready, the report will provide member States with actionable data and information with which to improve policy planning, control and decision-making on gender equality and women’s advancement,” Thokozile Ruzvidzo, the Social Development Policy Division Director, said Monday.
Policy makers and gender activists will be better able to understand the issues obstructing implementation of the recommendations contained in national African Gender and Development reports, she added.
These reports are in the regional document to be finalized at the meeting. The final document will thrust the African Centre for Gender into a stronger position to mainstream gender more effectively into policies and programmes undertaken by member States toward achieving Agenda 2030.
The Centre’s programmes and knowledge products highlight the value in using gender responsive statistics in deciding national policy priorities. In this respect, the Centre’s Continent-Wide Initiative for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment aims to produce accurate statistics and policy research, including the consolidation of the African Gender and Development Index.
The Economic Commission for Africa introduced the Index in 2004. It measures the gap in the status of African men and women. It also assesses the progress African governments have made in applying policies for the equality of women and girls in society. This, then, buttresses Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which call for gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Despite the advances of African women since the independence era of the 1960s, male-centric cultural, social, economic and political attitudes still stifle women’s advancement. Gender statistics are highly needed in the planning and implementation of policies, programmes and projects and also required to monitor and evaluate policies, programmes and projects, and to provide the evidence base for research. Additionally, statisticians will be able to institutionalize the collection, analysis, management and dissemination of such data within national statistical systems.
So far, 41 countries to have undertaken the national Gender Development Index studies; South Africa has undertaken the process twice.
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