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International Women's Day 2020: 10 must-reads from the Portal

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International Women's Day 2020: 10 must-reads from the Portal

06 Mar 2020

4min min read
  • Women's rights

In celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March, we round up 10 gender-focused articles for to you engage with. They cover women in trade, fintech, security and land, among others. 

Between September 2016 and September 2018, Afrobarometer completed 45,823 interviews in 34 countries focused on gender equality. Do people support equality? Do they think their countries are achieving it? Can we map out the shape, size, and direction of gender gaps in women’s rights and opportunities? And how do publics evaluate their own governments’ performance on this issue? This report provides a comprehensive overview of the results from this effort. 

Read the full report here.


In an exclusive feature for the Africa Portal, Asmita Parshotam looks at the impending implementation of the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and what regional governments need to do to address gender inequalities and promote women's economic development. To this end, she provides specific policy recommendations that can be actioned by African Union (AU) member states. 

Read the article here


This visually-appealing presentation by Research ICT Africa to the UN Office for South South cooperation workshop on women in technology covers the digital inequality and constraints of internet access in Africa, focusing specifically on gender barriers. It ends by providing policy recommendation to address the relevant gaps. 

View the presentation here.


In this policy brief, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation looks at the gendered dynamics of colonialism and the lost political institutions of African women to promote innovation within transitional justice, specifically in how it views gender justice in Africa.  It addresses the historical erasure of women and attributes it to the effects of colonialism and the removal of women’s agency in political institutions, their decision-making power and their indigenised. The case studies of Nigeria and Uganda and provided. 

Read the policy brief here.


This article by Twende Mbele presents the findings from a diagnostic study used to determine the gender responsiveness of national monitoring and evaluation systems in Benin, South Africa and Uganda. The conclusion is that while the three countries have implemented national evaluation systems, these systems need to be complemented with inputs from the existing national gender machinery in order to make a meaningful contribution to state evaluation policies, institutions and processes. 

Read the article here


How might the explosion of fintech platforms and applications be tapped to foster greater financial inclusion, especially for women, who are under-served by traditional banking? This scoping paper by the International Development Research Centre explores the available evidence on the uptake of fintech in Africa, and how it is changing the financial landscape. It highlights examples that illustrate the potential benefits of fintech for women, while pinpointing ways in which these emerging technologies need to be better tailored to the specific barriers that African women face if they are to be truly empowering. 

Read the scoping paper here.


The thematic focus of World Maritime Day 2019 was women empowerment, with the aim of raising awareness on gender equality in the maritime space alongside UN Sustainable Development Goal Five (SDG-5). This article written by Dr Lisa Otto looks at how the sector is faring in this regard and what more needs to be done to achieve gender equality.

Read the article here


This scorecard created by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies measures how committed governments are to women’s land rights in each country. It asks whether the local laws guarantee equal land rights for women? Whether women’s legislated land rights are protected and enforced? Whether women are able to assert control over the land they use? Whether women can make decisions about land governance? And whether women’s land rights are protected against largescale, land-based investments?

View the scorecard here

Fisheries – and small-scale fisheries in particular – contribute significantly to economic and food security in Africa. Women play an important role along the fisheries value chain and in fishing communities. However, their contributions often go unrecognised and therefore unconsidered. This policy brief by the South African Institute of International Affairs details some of the challenges facing women and outlines options for addressing them. It also identifies a number of opportunities for enhancing women’s participation in the small-scale fisheries sector, including post-harvest activities (processing and marketing) and aquaculture.

Read the policy brief here

Limited attention is paid to women on death row in Africa, particularly as they make up a small percentage of the overall prison population. Female inmates represent approximately 15 percent of the death row in Malawi (four women), 5.1 percent in Sierra Leone (two women), 4 percent in Uganda (11 women), 2.2 percent in Nigeria (32 women), 3.1 percent in Ghana (five women), 1.8 percent in Mauritania (one woman) and 1 percent in Zambia (two women). In an exclusive article for the Portal, Sabrina Mahtani higlights the plight of African women on death row and the intersecting forms of discrimination they face. 

Read the article here.


(Main image: Double exposure of a young African woman over an African landscape at sunset and Nairobi skyline.  Getty Images)

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of SAIIA or CIGI.