Gendered Sociocultural Structures and Africa’s Quest for Development

  •  Grace Reuben Etuk    
  •  Ugo Samuel Bassey    
  •  Ejukwa Osam    


The way gender interfaces with development is a concern that has occupied the attention of development planners and feminists for some time now. The impetus for this concern is the realization that a key component for achieving development in all its dimensions is the existence of gender equality. This explains why the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals of 2000 framed its third goal as “To promote gender equality and women empowerment”; and more recently in its Sustainable Development Goals of 2015, the fifth goal is “To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Against this backdrop, therefore, this paper attempts to accentuate the extent of gender inequality that has persisted in Africa’s social structures, and how it has so far affected development on the continent. Particular prominence is given to the ways gender inequality in Africa’s social structures have functioned to keep the continent’s development rate at a snail pace by crippling the extent of participation in the development process by women – the main victims of gender inequality. The issue of gender and its effects on Africa’s social systems and subsequently the processes that will lead up the continent’s development must be properly addressed if a highway is to be created for development to ride in Africa. Thus, among other recommendations, the paper advocates for gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes at country level on the continent.

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