Africa Human Development Report 2016

26 Sep 2016

Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa

Gender inequality costs sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardising the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016.

The report analyses the political, economic and social drivers that hamper African women’s advancement and proposes policies and concrete actions to close the gender gap. These include addressing the contradiction between legal provisions and practice in gender laws; breaking down harmful social norms and transforming discriminatory institutional settings; and securing women’s economic, social and political participation.

In Uganda, for example, the cost of the gender gap in the Country’s agriculture sector alone is estimated at US$67 million per year, which could construct about 134kms of tarmac road or 8 general hospitals at an estimated cost of approximately US$8 million – both of which could improve the lives of women by easing the movement and access to health care.

Deeply-rooted structural obstacles such as unequal distribution of resources, power and wealth, combined with social institutions and norms that sustain inequality are holding African women, and the rest of the continent, back. The report estimates that a 1 percent increase in gender inequality reduces a country’s human development index by 0.75 percent.


  • African women achieve only 87 percent of the human development outcomes of men
  • African women hold 66 percent of the all jobs in the non-agricultural informal sector and only make 70 cents for each dollar made by men
  • Only between 7 and 30 percent of all private firms have a female manager
  • Gender gap costs sub-Saharan Africa $US95 billion a year