Special Edition: Women, Power & Policy Making

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Special Edition: Women, Power & Policy Making

08 Aug 2019

2min min read
  • Equality
  • Women's rights

n celebration of Women’s Month in August 2019, the Africa Portal is releasing a number of outputs as part of its thematic focus for the year - ‘Women, Power and Policy Making’ - beginning today with its policy making series.

In March 2019, we released a call for abstracts for policy briefs focused on women in policy making and the challenges they encounter to help gain an understanding of Africa’s progress towards achieving gender equality, as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s Vision 2063. 

In the weeks that followed, over 100 applications from around the world were reviewed by our panel of experts. Today, we are proud to announce the release of the final eight policy briefs that delve into pressing concerns around women and climate change, business, peace and security, and political representation, among others. 

We congratulate all the contributing authors and will announce the top three policy briefs deemed the best publications in early September 2019.

This initative was jointly funded by the South African Institute of International Affairs, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Canadian High Commission in South Africa. 

Dr Agnes Babugura emphasises the importance of gender equality in the fight against climate change in Africa. Among her policy recommendations, she calls upon governments and civil society to create greater awareness around the role of women in this regard. 


Amanda Bisong looks at the gender dimension of ECOWAS’ framework for migration and argues that it has limited the benefits of migration for women and exposed them to risks. She calls for support mechanisms to be established, in addition to other recommendations.

Manase Kudzai Chiwese
explores the opportunities and threats facing African women in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). He calls for various policies, such as the promotion of female education, to ensure women are not excluded in this change to the world of work.

Esther Ekong examines the potential adverse effects of extending geographical indications (GI) to shea butter in Ghana – the production of which has traditionally been dominated by women. She argues for collective place branding as a better alternative.

Rebecca Matsie
looks at women’s participation in informal settlement upgrading in South Africa and the disparities that exist in this regard. She calls for policies that acknowledge the effect of gender relations to create an enabling environment for women.


Dr Udoka Ndidiamaka Owie analyses the role and representation of women in ECOWAS’ peace and security regulatory framework. She calls for innovative thinking and broader engagement with stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of its objectives. 


Thabang Ramakhula explores how patriarchal systems, electoral processes, stereotyping and other barriers have perpetuated the marginalisation of women in the National Assembly of Lesotho. She proposes various policy options to address this.

David Olusegun Sotola
examines the issue of under-representation of women on corporate boards and other leadership structures in Africa. He proposes five policy recommendations to remedy this phenomenon, including mandatory quotas and male advocacy.

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