Status of Girls and Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Legal system. The formal legal system in Sudan is primarily derived from British common law and Islamic law (Shari’a). Islamic law does not grant women in Sudan equal rights to men in matters of personal status including marriage, inheritance and divorce. The criminal act, governed by Shari’a, allows punishments such as flogging and amputation.For groups of other faiths than Islam (e.g. the Christian population) the communities’ own religious standards are applied to personal status matters.


Gender and Statebuilding in South Sudan

South Sudan’s independence ends decades of conflict as well as socioeconomic and political marginalization at the hands of successive governments in Khartoum, which affected women in gender-specific ways. Independence thus opens up opportunities for women’s economic and social empowerment, ensuring that the new country’s political and economic structures and institutions reflect commitments to women’s participation and human rights. In turn, empowering women will enable South Sudan to strengthen its economic and political
structures and institutions.

Women in South Sudan

Women account for over 60% of the population in South Sudan. This is not a force of nature but a direct result of over 39 years of conflict since Sudan’s Independence. Years of conflict has not only deprived women of their dependents – husbands and sons, but the disturbing and conventional post-war society coupled with discriminatory cultural traditions and abject poverty undermines the promotion of equal rights and the ability for women to actively participate in the development of the new nation. Over 90% of women in South Sudan are illiterate, and 50% of girls under the age of 18 are married which contributes to the high rate of maternal mortality in the country which is still thought to be the highest in the world. While the number of girls enrolled in school has increased over the last few years since the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005, the percentage of girls at school compared to boys lingers at around 37%. This number severely declines for education past primary school level. Gender based violence is a reality for many women, and abortion is illegal even when a woman has been raped. The Rule of law is largely in existent and the majority of cases are dealt with using customary law which inevitably discriminate women and the minorities.

Apartheid’s Enduring Legacy: Inequalities in Education

This paper provides an overview of the educational situation in South Africa a decade after the political transition, with the focus on its economic dimensions. This overview often draws on the author’s own previous work, with the empirical contribution con-fined to a production function analysis of educational outcomes.
An important question is whether changes since the transition have substantially ameliorated the role of race in education. As comparative inter-temporal data are scarce, this paper thus analyses recent educational outcomes to show that race, and the race-based former school systems, still remain the most pervasive determinants of educational outcomes.

Economic Growth and Income Convergence in Ethiopia: A Critique

In its review of Ethiopia’s economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated that Ethiopia has been attaining economic growth for the past seven years. In addition, the IMF highlights that the lifestyle of the Ethiopian people has been getting better for the last two decades. In the same vein, the Economist indicated that Ethiopia has become the fifth fastest growing economy in the world (for a review see, Desta, 2010).

Trade Liberalization and Poverty: A macro-micro Analysis in Ethiopia

The overarching importance of trade has long been recognized as a key element of sustainable development in both developed and developing countries. Inspired by the gains from trade, countries have long adopted an outward looking, export-oriented development approach aiming at restoring internal and external economic stability and enhancing efficiency of resource allocation (Berg and Krueger, 2003). Trade liberalization is seen as a means of achieving industrialization and modernization through securing economies of scale, market access, and trade expansion.

Structural Transformation is a Defining Moment that Leads Ethiopia to Modern Development

Ethiopia has had different defining moments that make her survive for thousand years. One
defining moment, for instance, was the war against colonialist in the second half of the nineteenth century, which culminated in the battle of Adwa. Today Ethiopia has to choose another defining moment to ensure the unity of the people and survival of its cultures. This defining moment is the process of structural transformation. In this paper I will try to offer a new conceptual approach to the current political discussion on Ethiopia, centred on the notion of structural transformation.

Thematic Area(s): , , ,

Ethiopia United Nations Development Assistance Framework

The Ethiopia UNDAF 201-2015 presents the planned response of the 25 UN agencies and 19 Non Resident UN agencies in the run up to the deadline of the achievement of MDGs and mirrors in many ways the strategic shift that the Government of Ethiopia has agreed to undertake as enunciated in the Growth and Transformation Plan (2011-2015) the five year national development plan of Ethiopia.
Amidst reducing poverty, consistent double digit growth, improving human development indicators and the certain consolidation of democracy and governance, Ethiopia presents a real challenge and opportunity for pulling over 30 million people out of poverty and standing up as a lesson and model for other Least Developing Countries. The country has indeed moved far and confidently from the days of hunger and famine of the 80s. Today the young democracy, having experienced consisted economic success over the past decade is bolder and braver and wants to push all out for growth and prosperity through some very ambitious strategies and plans. The focus of the economic growth strategy is not agriculture though agriculture contributes to be still very important. The broader script is that of building upon the growth in the service sector and strengthening the rather sluggish growth in the industrial/manufacturing sector. The economic infrastructure like roads and railways are the focus of some major investment plans as the driver of this ambitious growth strategy which at the end of 2025 is expected to propel Ethiopia among the Middle Income countries, which will indeed be a feat given the current levels of GDP and less than 500 USD per capita income. A rough calculation implies a four-fold increase in the GDP of the next decade and half.

Report of the Law Commission on the Development of the Gender Equality Act

In September, 2001, a special Law Commission was empanelled under section 133 of the Constitution to undertake a review of the laws of Malawi in accordance with Government’s policy to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in all spheres of life in Malawi. This was in response to the new constitutional order; the emerging socio-political dispensation prevailing in Malawi; and in recognition of Government’s commitment to international law and policy on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Gender and Poverty Reduction in Malawi 

Because of this lack of or failure to mainstream gender the results on gender and poverty are not satisfactory. Women still lag behind in many areas of development and men’s contribution to changing the situation isnot being fully harnessed. The main development areas where women’s participation has greater poverty reduction returns are education, economy, health, decision making, social protection, human rights protection, and legal reform to support the other areas. It is possible to estimate the costs of implementing gender blind development programs in these areas in terms of forgone economic growth (wealth creation) and poverty reduction. Semu et al, 2004, estimated, depending on sector of theme, that up to 2% economic growth is foregone due to implementing gender unresponsive programs.

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