UNDP: More power to women – key factor in poverty reduction

SoME Gavobevis 2023

5 June 2012

Strengthening the capacity of women and empowering them to take a greater place in positions of power within developmental and agricultural issues is a central, necessary and effective measure to realise human rights, decrease poverty and obtain sustainable development. This is one of the central points in UNDP’s new report “Africa Human Development Report 2012”, which maps possible answers to Africa’s developmental challenges.

Empowering women – a Good investment

The UN’s organ for development, UNDP, documents, analyses and gives suggestions regarding developmental measures continuously. The latest report which contains similar suggestions is the “African Human Development Report 2012“, which puts one of its main focus areas on women’s participation and accessibility to power under the headline “Empowerment for Social Justice, Gender Equality and Food for Everyone“. In this chapter, UNDP argues that investments in more power and participation for rural African women is the best move that can be made to promote sustainable solutions within the development and agriculture sectors.

Women’s skills important in the long term

The reason that investments should be made in giving women more power is, according to the UNDP, about the skills that differentiate women from men working in the same field. UNDP describes that there is a strong link between increasing women’s education, capacity and power, and the rise of sustainable solutions within food security, poverty reduction and development. Women are also more likely to make sound, long term decisions and, according to the report, women are also more prone to find sustainable solutions in political arenas.

Obstacles in the way

The report also highlights the obstacles and forces that might prevent the increase of power and participation for women in developmental and agricultural issues. In many of the countries that the report covers, especially in Sub Saharan countries, women have less control over resources and economical assets than men, and the possibilities to participate or represent in official arenas are often limited. The UNDP criticises this picture and argues that “women’s empowerment must remain a central policy priority because equality and nondiscrimination are of intrinsic value. As human rights, women’s rights deserve to be promoted for that reason alone“.

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