General News of Sunday, 8 March 2015
Despite growing support for women’s rights in Africa, gender inequalities still characterizes many women’s daily lives, an analysis of Afrobarometer survey data has revealed.
According to the report, women remain at a marked disadvantage compared to men in many areas, including education, participation in politics, and discrimination in the workplace and the courts.
Gender gaps are particularly pronounced in North Africa, the survey revealed.
After taking sampling views from 34 African countries, the report was released in line with the International Women’s Day which is celebrated across the world on March 8.
This year’s celebration is under the theme; “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity.”
Across the 34 countries, nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents support equal rights for women Across 15 countries where Afrobarometer has asked the question since 2002, support for equal rights for women increased from 68% in 2002 to 73% in 2012. Two-thirds (68%) of respondents say women are as capable as men of being political leaders.
Women are more likely than men to go without any formal education (26% vs. 19%) and less likely to have post-secondary schooling (11% vs. 16%).
Women are less likely than men to exercise their political rights. They are less likely to be registered to vote (8% unregistered for women vs. 5% for men) and to say they vote (68% vs. 73%). Women are also significantly less likely to contact political leaders or to engage in other forms of political participation.
Four in 10 Africans say women are “often” or “always” treated unfairly by employers (40%) and by traditional leaders (41%), and one in three (33%) say the police and courts do not treat women equally.
Women fare markedly worse in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia) than in other regions of the continent. These countries collectively report the lowest levels of support for women’s leadership (Figure 4) and the highest levels of discrimination.
There are wide gaps between men and women on many issues, including the ability of women to serve as president or prime minister (55% support among women, 36% among men) and support for equal rights for women in initiating a divorce (56% support among women, 39% among men).