Equality or pipe dreams: Gender and inclusive development under the African Union’s agenda 2063

Authors Charlotte Kabaseke

ISSN: 2521-2605
Affiliations: None
Source: Journal of Comparative Law in Africa, Volume 5 Issue 2, p. 73 – 97


Matters relating to women and gender equality have been at the helm of many discussions for the past decades. Several international legal and policy measures have been adopted to advance gender equality at various levels, as well as to position women to become key players in the economic, social and political spheres of society. Despite the progress made, there is still a cavernous fissure in women’s participation in the economic and political sphere, especially in Africa. The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1979 and the African Union enacted a regional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) relating to the Rights of Women. The Protocol concerns specific problems faced by women in Africa. Subsequently, in 2013, the African Union adopted a blueprint to guide the development of Africa in the next 50 years, commonly dubbed ‘Agenda 2063’. Generally, the Agenda seeks to engender an inclusive development that puts women and youth at the centre of the continent’s development programming. The paper will examine how the various legal and policy instruments at the international and regional levels are incorporated and applied at the national level. It identifies the critical issues, challenges and prospects in advancing a gender-responsive inclusive development in Africa. The paper concludes that despite efforts at the regional level to advance gender equality, it has not been achieved due to poor enforcement at national level.