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Pathways to Gender-Inclusive Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Sectoral Analysis

Research and observations confirm that gender inequity is everywhere and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As efforts to respond to the social and economic fallouts of the pandemic continue, gender equity needs to take centre stage. It is paramount that women achieve their full potential to attain equity and for the global economy to rebound and thrive. Context specific data and evidence are critical to guide these efforts, including for key sectors with strong potential for women’s economic empowerment. Importantly, achieving gender equity can also contribute to positive shifts in gender norms and reducing gender-based violence.

Through a combination of primary and secondary research, the study identifies the growing economic sectors in each country that hold the most promising and lucrative opportunities for women, especially young women. The study also reviews the cultural norms, policies, legal provisions, skillsets, and other factors that can support women’s success in the workforce and as entrepreneurs, including the positive potential role for cooperatives.

The Pathways SSA Gender study is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from each partner organisation, drawing additional insights and expertise from local working groups as well as multiple gender and sector-specific experts. 

This timely study is intended to inform strategies, programme design and implementation, and policies that will promote WEE and, in turn, economic growth. The study’s inclusive and collaborative approach focuses on research for impact, aiming to maximise the potential commitments and actions to support gender-inclusive development by donors, civil society, the private sector, and policymakers at the country, regional and global level.

The study proposes for consideration and further dialogue multiple recommendations in each country and sector. Examples include proposing shifts in policy to allow for/enforce female land ownership to targeted training on financial literacy and entrepreneurship to highlighting areas where more research is needed. A coordinated, multi-pronged and multi-stakeholder approach must be adopted to address and tackle barriers identified at each level. The project Steering Committee partners believe that enacting these recommendations will improve gender equity and promote economic growth. 

Pathways SSA Gender Study Virtual Dissemination Workshop

In an effort to raise awareness of the Pathways SSA Gender study and its key findings, the project Steering Committee hosted a virtual dissemination workshop on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023.

The goal was to bring together a diverse group of local and international stakeholders to present and discuss the findings emerging from the research, help participants discover how the study might be relevant for their work, and provide a preliminary venue for key stakeholders to discuss and then act on the proposed recommendations to promote gender-inclusive economic development.

In addition to Steering Committee members, representatives from multiple local organizations and an external partner were invited to participate as Panel Discussants including:

A wide variety of both local and international stakeholders were also invited and participated in the workshop – from government representatives, non-profits, and the private sector to multilateral and bilateral donors and individual gender experts.

Workshop Agenda

The workshop will consist of the following:

  • Opening Remarks and Project Background
  • Presentation of Key Findings
  • Panel Discussion – From Research to Action: Core Themes, Key Findings, and Proposed Recommendations
  • Open Discussion
  • Closing Remarks

Recognizing other themes are also relevant such as climate and the digital gender gap, key themes for the Panel include:

  • Cooperatives/Collectives
  • Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Care Work
  • Trade and Economic Growth
Pathways to Gender-Inclusive Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Learn more about the study

This report is a product of Euromonitor International with staff and external contributions. Euromonitor International neither guarantees the accuracy of the data and findings included in this report, nor the precision of interpretations and conclusions drawn from it by users. The terms and language utilised in this report as well as any geographic descriptions/boundaries shown on any map or content in this report do not imply any judgment, acceptance, or endorsement of the identity of any persons/groups or the legal status of any territories on the part of Euromonitor International. 

This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the Mastercard Foundation, UN Women, International Development Research Centre, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA), Euromonitor International, U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC), the United States Agency for International Development, or the United States Government.