Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

The Nexus between Good Governance and Gender Equality as a Human Right in Africa: A Correlation Statistical Analysis

Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

The Nexus between Good Governance and Gender Equality as a Human Right in Africa: A Correlation Statistical Analysis

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

After discovering that only a small number of works, all of which employ the case study approach, have investigated a possible connection between governance and gender equality as a human right in Africa, and that these studies provide no definitive connection between the two concepts or variables, we decided to fill this gap in the literature. 'Thus, the hypothesis of this paper is that the greater the good governance, the greater gender equality will be in Africa. Employing the correlation statistical technique to analyze the available data collected for both variables, the results suggest that the hypothesis is tenable. It is suggested, therefore, that the road towards gender equality in Africa depends greatly on the willingness on the part of public administrators to remain open to women and to acknowledge the virtues of consultation and consensus that include female voices. A modern state will only become and remain democratic if there are strong, inherent systems that make room for all voices. African civil societies, governments, outside donors and international organizations all play a significant role in Africa and must work together towards advancing gender equality across the continent.

While there are many works on governance as a topic by itself, gender equality as a topic by itself, and a possible connection between the two aspects at the global level, there is only a small number of works, all using the case study approach, on the latter topic dealing specifically with Africa. The works we are able to find after a laborious search are briefly discussed in the following paragraphs in the chronological order in which they were published.

Anne Marie Goetz in her article titled "Women in Politics & Gender Equity in Policy: South Africa & Uganda" (1998) examines the representation of women in Ugandan and South African politics. Goetz investigates institutional changes which have been made to enhance women's participation in politics and development decision-making, drawing upon contemporary processes in both countries. She finds that while the numbers of women represented in both polities have increased significantly compared to those in many developed countries, this does not translate into an increase in the representation of women's interests in government decision-making. She also discovers that while political liberalization is credited with the increase of these women's representation in their national legislatures, it is not due to greater degrees of democracy in civil and political institutions. (1)

In his article, "Gender, Governance and the Welfare of Rural Women" (2002), David Mazambani investigates how Zimbabwe's land policies affect the women in Ruwangwe, Ward 4 of Nyanga District. Mazambani discovers that despite the fact these women work very hard to sustain their households, the gender inequity that is perpetuated by traditional customary practices hinder their progress. He also finds that national land policies also tend to add to their marginalization, as, on average, male-headed households own 2.0 hectares of arable land while female-headed households have far less; single mothers, widows, and divorcees share a paltry 0.7, 1.4, and 0.7 hectares, respectively. (2)

The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Malawi Institute of Management in their report titled Good Governance and Gender Equality in the Public Sector in Commonwealth Africa (2005) present the findings on and suggestions for good governance and gender equality in the public service of Commonwealth African countries from a regional workshop conducted in Lilongwe, Malawi from June 27 to 30, 2005. The general consensus of workshop members is that while most African countries have ratified global and regional protocols that are targeted toward increasing gender equality in all spheres, existing efforts are still limited in meeting these protocols in many African countries. …

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