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 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.
In 2005, government released its economic policy programme captured formally as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) (The Presidency, 2005). ASGISA is distinguished, relative to its two predecessors, GEAR and the RDP, by its strong emphasis on defined, and very specific growth-enhancing projects. The delivery of physical infrastructure and a detailed programme for the provision of skills are just two examples of such interventions. It is important to note however, that in many senses, ASGISA is a continuation of the GEAR strategy. Having achieved the critical need for macroeconomic stability – arguably the core of GEAR – the emphasis has now shifted within ASGISA to a more detailed programme of activities designed to deliver the holy grail of 6% growth per annum.
Widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. In advanced economies, the gap between the rich and poor is at its highest level in decades. Inequality trends have been more mixed in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs), with some countries experiencing declining inequality, but pervasive inequities in access to education, health care, and finance remain. Not surprisingly then, the extent of inequality, its drivers, and what to do about it have become some of the most hotly debated issues by policymakers and researchers alike. Against this background, the objective of this paper is two-fold.
Alongside human dignity and the advancement of human rights and freedoms, equality forms part of the very first founding provisions of South Africa as a constitutional democracy. It is listed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (the Constitution), as part of the non-derogable rights, which prohibits the unfair discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ethnic or social origin, sex, religion or language. There are several conceptions of equality, the most important of which are broadly covered in the concepts of ‘formal equality’ and ‘substantive equality’. Formal equality refers to the basic idea that individuals in like situations should be treated alike. However, this overlooks the importance of context where there are individual differences.
This document is for anyone who is working to transform and develop South Africa, but particularly for policy makers and trainers. It is the Commission on Gender Equality’s (CGE) first attempt to formulate a framework which the commission believes we need to be working within if we are to promote and protect gender equality, as the Constitution demands. Whether you are familiar with the theories and practices of gender equality or completely new to them, this document will be useful to you. If you are involved in funding, policy-making, training, research or on-the-ground projects, it will help you make sure that you take women’s particular needs into account and that women and men are equal beneficiaries of your work. This document aims to provide information and to get you thinking. The CGE hopes it will get you talking too.
Universally, early marriage is commonly classified as union formations by children under the age of 18 (“UNICEF”, 2005).It is a practice which affects mostly girls in developing countries. One of the latest reports by UNFPA (2012) states that; in 2010, there were over 67 million women between ages 20 and 24 who had been married before 18 in developing countries (excluding China). Moreover, in the same report it is projected that, if the present situation continues, more than 14 million girls under the age of 18 will become married each year within the next decade. While Asia and Africa are the two continents where the practice is most common, it is also possible to witness early marriage victims in almost every developing country around the world. Ethiopia is one of the 41 countries where early marriage had been experienced by more than 30% of women who were between 20 and 24 years old in 2011 (“UNFPA”, 2012, pp.23).
Poverty reduction is the core objective of the Ethiopian government. Economic growth is the principal, but not the only means to this objective. This policy approach raises fundamental questions: (1) what are the mechanisms and conditions by which economic growth translates into poverty reduction? (2) How do initial poverty and inequality affect the prospect for sustained and rapid economic growth? And (3) what are the links among economic growth, income distribution and poverty in the short and long term? This paper is aimed at addressing these questions
Economic globalization can be evaluated with reference to at least three dimensions:trade, private capital flows, and migration. For each of these dimensions, pathways can be identified through which economic globalization can help or hurt poor people. For example, exports of labor-intensive goods have the potential of supporting the incomes of poor people, but imports of armaments can have disastrous impacts,especially for poor children. Capital inflows in the form of FDI can enhance employment and technological learning, but unwise bond finance and commercial bank lending can precipitate crises with devastating effects for poor people.Sorting out the positive and negative impacts of increased globalization from the point of view of poor people is therefore of great importance. This paper attempts to do so using the particular circumstances of Ethiopia as a central reference point
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).