AfDB gender interventions to be tailored to realities on the ground, says its Special Envoy on Gender

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The African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, attended the Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD)’s conference on the  launch of Gender Milestones in Djibouti on  7-9 October 2013, where she reiterated  that the AfDB’s is committed   to addressing gender equality mainstreaming across its  Regional Member Countries (RMCs).

Speaking on behalf of AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, she indicated that the sentiments have changed regarding Africa, having been dubbed “Africa: The Hopeless Continent” in 2000 to “Africa Rising: The Hopeful Continent” in 2011 by the London-based magazine The Economist. With regard to gender equality she highlighted that things have positively changed also. Africa has done fairly well given that 7 of the 25 countries with the highest women’s representation in parliament are from Africa. Hence, Africa is rising, and African Women are rising too.  

Fraser-Moleketi pointed out that in its new 10-year strategy the AfDB places a renewed emphasis on gender equality and mainstreaming as a prerequisite for Africa’s economic transformation. To this effect, the institution is finalizing a Gender Strategy 2014-2017. 

This strategy allows the Bank to re-examine its engagement with RMCs on gender and to deal with the persistent factors that hinder the achievement of women’s rights and women’s empowerment globally.  This Strategy therefore prioritizes three areas of work: legal status and property rights of women, economic empowerment of women, and knowledge management and capacity Building. 

Another area of special focus  is the Fragile States. Noting the existence of the linkages between fragility and gender, Fraser-Moleketi said that the AfDB is therefore working to introduce more gender-sensitive interventions that are tailored to the realities of the distinct fragile states where it operates. 

In conclusion the Special Envoy indicated that the AfDB stands ready to support IGAD on realizing its gender milestones in its member countries and thus hailed the meeting as a step in the right direction.

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