#Planet5050: Will Africa get there in 2030?

Step It Up for Woman

By *Elshaddai Mesfin

In late September 2015, the United Nations (UN) hosted a gathering for the celebration of 20 years since the adoption and implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. In the presence of high level officials, academicians, gender and women issues experts as well as representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), it was stressed that governments and the world in general must commit to closing the gender gap by 2030 under the campaign “#Planet5050”, Step it up for Gender Equality in 2030. This is in support and spirit of Goal 5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be attained by the same year.

Women are the other half of humanity, yet their voice is still missing from global politics and economy. Creating environments that are conducive for women to achieve their full potential is, according to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, ‘a goal that Heads of State (HoS) have to ensure by making it a national priority. According to McKinsey Global Institute, in  a “full potential” scenario in which women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men, “as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.” Therefore, achieving equality for men and women by 2030 is not only a social and moral issue, but also one that is economically critical for a world whose economy is ever more stagnating.

The same logic also applies for having women at decision making levels; Africa has come a long way in this regards. The AU has named 2015 the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063 and 2016: African Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women. Dr. Zuma is the first woman Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), President Ellen Johnson of Liberia is the first African Woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize; Amina Mohamed is one of the first African Woman to be proposed for the post of UN Secretary General; Rwanda has the highest number of women in Parliament (more than 50%) in the continent; South Africa has the highest parity rates when it comes to employment. Yet here comes the paradox. These leading women do not represent at all the overall African Women population who remain excluded from the politics and economy of their respective countries and continent. They are the exception.  Even if they were to represent the rest, how audible would their voice be in the men dominated and dictated world of politics, economy and culture? As such, despite the pledges and commitments that were made, action and implementation are still missing.

This image is the same in peace and security. 15 years since UNSC 1325, women, globally, only represent less than 10% of negotiators in peace agreements despite the fact that peace agreements where women are present are likely to be sustainable by 23%. 10 years since the adoption of Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Africa remains the continent where much more is needed for women. In a continent devastated by conflicts, women are the first victims as refugees, IDPs, and rape victims. In Africa, South Sudan is the worst place to be women in a conflict zone next to the Democratic Republic of Congo with high rates of rape.

The protocols, charters and legislations and even the campaigns that enable women to reach their full potential are there. African leaders pledged their support for the newly established HeforShe campaign for instance. This is one that argues that gender is not only about women but also about men, men supporting women. But what is missing as Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has put it is the “unbending political will”, one that is to make the issue of women equality a “national priority”. In a three step plan developed by the UN, governments are to not only promote and campaign for #Planet5050 but also invest in women equality. Governments have to put in place clear budgets targeting the advancement of women in society through the creation of the foundations of the needed conducive environments. This means investing in social campaigns that are to eliminate discriminations and prejudices of women and thus propel by 2030 parity at all decision making levels.

But is gender equality a national priority for our African governments? Is it a national priority for the African citizenry? One can be skeptic about the prospects. Gender parity is unlikely to be a priority at a time where issues such as: fighting the waves of extremism especially in the Horn and West Africa Region, handling the migration crisis, dealing with the regression of democracy with the new pattern of third termism, and the need to find ways to support the ever growing African Peace Keeping Missions are pressing.  Maybe #Planet5050 is an ambitious goal for the continent? At the pace we now have, it is unlikely that Africa will achieve gender equality in the next 15 years.

 * Elshaddai Mesfin Haileyesus (elshaddai.m@ipss-addis.org ) is a research intern in the Research, Policy Analysis and Dialogue (RAPD) Department the Africa Peace and Security Programme (APSP), a joint programme of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and the African Union (AU). All views expressed in the AfSol blog are solely the views of the authors and do not represent the views of the IPSS or APSP. For more information on AfSol Blog, please contact research@ipss-addis.org

 

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36 thoughts on “#Planet5050: Will Africa get there in 2030?

  1. Before coming to my personal perception and believe, and also reflection, I would like to recognize some basic points, for me, from her title. I really agree on sentences like: “… governments and the world in general ‘must’ commit to ….”(1st paragraph), “Creating environment that are ‘conducive for women’ ….national priority”(2nd paragraph), “…..not only a social and moral issues, but also…..economically critical for a world economy…..”(2ndparagraph). These are main points to me to discuss on. First of all, I would like recognize also a progress to gender equality we all see in every angle of the world that has taken better attention than prior; and also, the perception of women themselves in terms of being equal competent is being grown from time to time, especially in our country. But still there is wide gap, as she mentioned and as I also agree.
    On my reflection, I would like to focus on the efficiency of women. On my view, the national governments and the international organizations shall focus their view on the success of women on any where they assigned to. For me, definitely almost all women assigned in any position, since we are talking on about governmental organization, they are both successful and sustain their success how long they stay there. I have a concrete example to this assumption. One woman, I know her, has been a director of one primary school(1st to 8th grade) for 4 years and I have got a chance in one condition to contact with this school. In these years I have not seen any in sufficiency in the school since she has been a director, even the favorability of situations being changed. In the same woreda and the same level school within these 4 years, I have seen that at least three different directors were changed, but one of these three was a woman and she was even the only one who stayed, comparatively, for long period of time.
    And also I have another information that one woman who were one wored’s finance office head worked successfully in her position; three other higher police office position holders who are successful in their position and comparatively better sustained their success for long period of time, and for this strength they have given higher military rank/status; and many others can be mentioned in every angle. More concretely, I am proud of to the woman called Dr Eleni Gebre-Madhin. She is the first woman by whom Ethiopian Commodity Exchange(ECX) was born, and she brought a trading floor for Ethiopian farmers for the first time instead they sign contract with private brokers; so, she created an access of more transparency of pricing.
    These are very few examples I tried to mention, but there are many women who shall be given higher decision making position because of their higher contribution to national and global economic development. And this is what I say that even for today’s bad governance problem, governments have to focus to women and shall give the chance to lead. In general speaking, let governments try to find/look in to/ that if how long females stayed in some position and what success they brought; after that, I think every nations governments will better apply what different resolutions said about women’s equality.

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  2. My answer for the above question is absolutely yes ,because of the following two reasons first of all according to the women in national parliament online data base in lower house or parliament there are nearly 50 % women in this light the data shows that Rwanda has 63.8% women in her lower house, Senegal 42.7%, Ethiopia 38.8%, Angola 36.8% Uganda 35.0% from such trend in Africa we can say that ,there is a progress as well as improvement in women’s participation in top leadership positions as such we can easily predict that Africa can achieve the planet 5050 on the stated time line (for more information please visit http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm) .

    secondly, according to the article written by Gretchen Bauer and Faith Okpotor in a year 20013 by the title of, “Her Excellency”: An Exploratory Overview of Women Cabinet Ministers in Africa . The number women in ministerial position in Africa is really increasing for instance South Africa has got 41.2 % women in its ministerial position, Cape Verde 40.0%, Burundi 38.1% women ministers as such as to me, we can optimistically conclude that Africa can achieve gender balance by 2030.

    To sum up ,in spite of the fact that many African and western medias are bombarding our ear with democratic regression in Africa ,by pointing their finger towards the level of corruption ,protracted conflicts and the so said poverty in Africa , Africa will achieve planet 5050 because of the impressive trend in the continent with regard to women participation parliament as well as that of ministerial positions .

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  3. The campaign #planet 5050 is one of the best ways in which the leaders pay attention and the women struggle to achieve the goal. This also could potentially bring a great change and can show us a progress when we compare with the past regimes. However, Africa will not get itself there in 2030. The rationale behind my conclusion is that the experience of the Africa in last 15 years which is the period after the campaign started. How far Africa traveled in a right track and to how extent the changes was registered? Was 50% of women have achieved the goal that designed by Campaign in 2015? If yes, again yes the rest 50% of women will achieve the goal in the next 15 years and Africa will get there in 2030. Unless it needs another strategy that never been attempted yet.
    At first hand what are clear measurements for gender equality? Let me make it clear my question by providing one typical example. Empowering the women to involve in decision making processes. This goal needs two major questions (how much women and at which level?) is it all about enhancing 50% women to be participant in the parliaments and some model top leaders in organizations only? Why don`t be top leaders (head of states/governments) in each states? How many states in Africa have been leading by women as president or prime minister? How many political parties have been organized by women to hold the top political positions in African states even in the world? Why males are expected to support females in considering females are still under the males and their need to be assisted by males?
    All the above questions need standardized and clear measurements to ensure gender equality. In fact there are no more gaps in terms of ideology and legal frame works to answer the above questions and enshrines the equality of gender. As far as my understanding the wide gap is related with implementation and commitment of the political leaders and women themselves. And some limitations are visible in terms of accepting and practicing women equality as national priority. In addition to above the existence of cultural practices that affect women like Female Genital Mutilations in some African states and the intra-state conflicts in which women become more victims are an obstacles so far and they need appropriate solution to achieve the goal which designed to see gender equality.
    My general comment regarding to see Africa there in 2030, Africa needs additional strategy in which women become a top leaders and strugglers for their equality with males without depending on male support and with strong feeling that this is the era in which the world politics should be failed under women. In line with this the current African leaders and organizations should crate conduce environment through not only providing legal frame works but also provide strong follow up mechanisms and uphold consistent observations and take corrective measures on states and bellow in any concerning individuals and institutions as well.
    Meharu Mathewos
    IPSS MA candidate in Addis Ababa University

    March, 2016

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  4. Now a day, the issues of gender equality was considered as one of national, regional and international matters. As mentioned above within the above argument about “planet5050” which give emphasis for the gender equality in this planet after fourteen years onward from today. Let me give my argument on this point specifically, is that justifiable in Africa or its merely just statement to declare about equality.

    Today, many of African leaders give weight for gender equality for two reasons. These are: first to acquire their political support for saying we have this and that percent from our parliament or in this and that position. Just, I like to name this for political game. And the second one is that, they give weight for gender equality since it was necessary or mandatory for social, economic and political betterment of their respective countries. Having this two main dimension of speaking for the gender equality, now I can forward my argument on the bold issue in need of comment about realization of planet5050 in Africa.

    We have two probabilities on this issue of gender equalities in Africa since it’s shaped by the way our leaders treat and do the matter within their regime. Obviously, we have declining position of Democracy in Africa to day. Surprisingly, this can be giving us authoritative argument to say something about the fate of gender equality in Africa. Imagine in the continent of Africa in their decolonization period we have seen that, the fashion of democratization throughout the continent. Now, they began to do on their community not for their community as black or domestic colonizers by refusing the principle of democracy to stay on the power as long as their leave this world or they want to expire on the chair. I know that, they speak that delimiting the years on the power has nothing to do with democracy and they consider and reconsider themselves as the soul and the only case for the existence of their countries. Imagine, dreaming equality within such derelict practice of democracy is for me it’s not far better than dream of midnight. Though, in the continuation of deterioration of democracy in the continent we can’t triumph the goal of planet5050.

    As the author mentioned in the argument the existence of few women in the continent as public figure was good but I didn’t consider it as the benchmark for gender equality in the continent. Because, the system is far beyond them, and inequality was emanated from the system not from the soil of Africa. Therefore the battle now is not with anything else but it must be with the system. From this I can assert the second probability which is under exception “if and only if” the system can be revised and reassured the deteriorated democratic principle at least we can step forward some point and we may acknowledge the contribution of women in all rounded ultimatum of the continent.

    Generally, if we deal with the system we can do something to promote equality, but if we confuse ourselves only by speaking the necessity of gender equality the just statement we mentioned above is nothing but just and just forever generational.

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  5. Personal reflection on ᎓ work of Elshadai Mesfin “Planet 50/50 ”

    The practice of inequality is socially constructed and practiced throughout human life. Gender is a social construct, it defines roles, responsibilities, rights and obligations of women Caren Grown etal (2005, p31). From this definition we can understand that it is all about women’s status including their obligations. The inequality of women starts from our understanding and perception. This inequality practice is also supported by religious leaders and religion doctrines. Implicitly or directly it is also practiced and supported in many government polices and strategies. Same Countries has enacted in their laws policies in favor of the inequality. Generally even though the magnitude is defer from country to country, from society to society gender gap/ women inequality is everywhere all over the world
    In Ethiopian context during the 2015 election campaign the ruling party EPRDF was declared to make 30% of its candidates would be women and now there are about 130 women’s in parliament . But In contrary there are only 4 women in the executive organ. Even though the FDRE 1995 constitutions has granted basic women’s right including remedies to correct their past burdens, the implementation is not as such good enough to narrow the gap. In this regard the main problem is lack of understanding and implementation of the laws and policies. Society’s awareness and commitment is also the other problem. Women are still very far behind with regards to decision making and economic benefit.
    Even though the number women are slightly more than half of the world total population, and the most affected by wars and conflicts, their role in peace keeping operation is neglected. According to UN report of January 2016, of total 107, 078 uniformed peace keepers (military experts, troops, individual police and formed police), in 18 peace keeping operations women are only 5109, which accounts 4.8% out the total uniformed peace keepers in the world
    Regarding AU member states, they are still struggling of their religious and ethnic based internal conflicts. Women are the most affected of this conflicts and wars. Most of members states are failed to narrow the gap between men and women, in terms of land owing and economic benefit. Take in to account the realities and practices of the world.
    Therefore if gender equality is socially constructed it need a radical societal change which starts from the grassroots level at each individual level. According to Caren Grown etal (2005, p21) “the first ingredient of transformation requires a critical mass of change agents committed to the vision of a gender equitable society”. The other most critical issue is commitment of governments, regional and continental organs. The problem of inequality is well recognized by all, head of states and governments, but it lacks commitment to strive solution, how it should be addressed. Hence, to narrow and then to eliminate this practice of inequality commitment is the most important thing. There must be Commitment to revised and correct, laws and policies to allocate budget, for women’s empowerment, to open all possible ways to see active women participation in political, economical and in decision making activities. Understand the capability and ability of women active participation in decision making and in all disciplines will be benefited society, our continent and the world in general.
    In my conclusion yes empowering of women should be priority of all states, because without active participation of women it is impossible to reduce poverty and conflicts. Since women are more than half of the society without women’s role it is impossible every to achieve all plans. But the planet 50/50 is more of ambitious. In the first place the planet has to clear on how can measured its effectiveness. Is it at country level or by just looking the world total population in relation to the total empowered women? The plan has lack of understanding of the world difference. It is only the western countries which registered good progress comparing to the rest of the world. Countries in the Arab region are violating women right to the extent that adopting laws prohibiting women from election and driving vehicles. African women are also victimized of civil wars, poverty, lack of good governance, corruption and an equal treatment. The plan is more inspirational, but I doubt whether it will be achieved without efforts of all parties, uniformity of laws, policies, practices and lack of commitment of governments and all actors to bring fully empowerment of women.

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  6. I send first reflection, but because of spelling errors I wanted it to be discarded. this the original copy

    Personal reflection on ᎓ work of Elshadai Mesfin “Planet 50/50 ”

    The practice of inequality is socially constructed and practiced throughout human life. Gender is a social construct, it defines roles, responsibilities, rights and obligations of women Caren Grown etal (2005, p31). From this definition we can understand that it is all about women’s status including their obligations. The inequality of women starts from our understanding and perception. This inequality practice is also supported by religious leaders and religion doctrines. Impliedly or directly it is also practiced and supported in many government polices and strategies. Same Countries has enacted in their laws policies in favor of the inequality. Generally even though the magnitude is defer from country to country, from society to society gender gap/ women inequality is everywhere all over the world
    In Ethiopian context during the 2015 election campaign the ruling party EPRDF was declared to make 30% of its candidates would be women and now there are about 130 women’s in parliament . But In contrary there are only 4 women in the executive organ. Even though the FDRE 1995 constitutions has granted basic women’s right including remedies to correct their past burdens, the implementation is not as such good enough to narrow the gap. In this regard the main problem is lack of understanding and implementation of the laws and policies. Society’s awareness and commitment is also the other problem. Women are still very far behind with regards to decision making and economic benefit.
    Even though the number women are slightly more than half of the world total population, and the most affected by wars and conflicts, their role in peace keeping operation is neglected. According to UN report of January 2016, of total 107, 078 uniformed peace keepers (military experts, troops, individual police and formed police), in 18 peace keeping operations women are only 5109, which accounts 4.8% out the total uniformed peace keepers in the world
    Regarding AU member states, they are still struggling of their religious and ethnic based internal conflicts. Women are the most affected of this conflicts and wars. Most of members states are failed to narrow the gap between men and women, in terms of land owing and economic benefit. Take in to account the realties and practices of the world.
    Therefore if gender equality is socially constructed it need a radical societal change which starts from the grassroots level at each individual level. According to Caren Grown etal (2005, p21) “the first ingredient of transformation requires a critical mass of change agents committed to the vision of a gender equitable society”. The other most critical issue is commitment of governments, regional and continental organs. The problem of inequality is well recognized by all, head of states and governments, but it lacks commitment to strive solution, how it should be addressed. Hence, to narrow and then to eliminate this practice of inequality commitment is the most important thing. There must be Commitment to revised and correct, laws and policies to allocate budget, for women’s empowerment, to open all possible ways to see active women participation in political, economical and in decision making activities. Understand the capability and ability of women active participation in decision making and in all disciplines will be benefited society, our continent and the world in general.
    In my conclusion yes empowering of women should be priority of all states, because without active participation of women it is impossible to reduce poverty and conflicts. Since women are more than half of the society without women’s role it is impossible to achieve all plans.. In the first place the planet has to clear on how can measured its effectiveness is it at country level or by just looking the world total population in relation to the total empowered women? The plan has lack of understanding of the world difference. It is only the western countries which registered good progress comparing to the rest of the world. Countries in the Arab region are violating women right to the extent that adopting laws prohibiting women from election and driving vehicles. African women are also victimized of civil wars, poverty, lack of good governance, corruption and an equal treatment. Therefore the planet 50/50 is more of ambitious and of more inspirational, but I doubt whether it will be achieved without efforts of all parties, uniformity of laws, policies, practices and lack of commitment of governments and all actors to bring fully empowerment of women.

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  7. It is true that Africa is in some sort of protracted conflict ,it is also true Africa is the poorest continent in the world in terms of human right protection and women empowerment if we are talking about real protection and real empowerment. In this light please see the said book by Human right watch “Protectors Or Pretenders?: Government Human Rights Commissions in Africa”(page 407).

    Having this in mind if anyone asks me hey you :can Africa achieve plane 5050? .My answer is yes and my reasons are there are push factors that can force African governments like the UN protocols ,women activists and other can push African leaders to planet 5050 ;at a mean time Africa and African leaders will achieve planet 5050 in perverted way i mean with a false empowerment ,in with women will be empowered to take nominal offices without having the real power at their post just as symbolic office holder .

    In this light please take a look in the “Her Excellency”: An Exploratory Overview of Women Cabinet Ministers in Africa .An article By Bauer, G and Okpotor,F .The article come up with number of women parliaments and ministers even the article depicts that there are some African countries with more than 50 % women parliaments and almost above 40 % women in high posts like ministerial level.But the question is is this real ? the number says they are in power ,but the question is ,are they really in power?

    Generally speaking Africa can achieve planet 5050 without achieving it (real planet 5050 in 15 years in Africa I don’t think so )!!!!!

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    • Dear Tagel

      I have seen that your interesting argument as usual and animated on it to forward some comments on your saying. Confidently, you said that African can attain #planet5050# in 2030 because of several pushing and/or factors like pressure from UN and other gender activists. Let be realist; today in Africa we have mass human right violation, inequalities and others manifestations of failure institution in Africa. Where are those pressures groups today to promote human rights, to ensure equality, and to foster democratic principles in the continent? In short, my instance here, we can’t realize #planet5050 through external pressures since it needs revision of current system as well in line the real practice of democracy even to attain nominal equality.

      In addition to this, you mentioned the number increment of women in parliament and other decision making level in Africa from time to time. I am very much optimist towards the number increments of women in various levels, but I don’t think so its real empowerment and real equality for two typical reasons: first, they are elected or selected as merely symbolic representation, what I wanna to call it responsibility without authority. so, can do nothing merely they are there for counting their hands for decision making not for counting their interest. Secondly, they cannot represent the marginalized and neglected women in rural and sub-urban and also some in urban those who live without having even, basic needs low level of education and under the yoke of extreme poverty. Having a number of women in parliament and other decision making level doesn’t mean that there is empowerment of women in general. I want to see empowerment from grassroots level if its real empowerment and equality. Plus let we feed those who die in hunger, let provide some basic needs for those who found under the extreme poverty, let pave ways for access of education in marginal area, for me equality is nothing are less we take comprehensive action for their betterment.

      In short, even if we all are uncertain about the future but it’s difficult to attain #planet5050 in Africa in 2030 under corrupted system. So it needs to take action on the system to promote real democracy first and then come to #planet5050
      Thanks!

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      • Brother Galata
        like always ,I would like to forward my gratitude for taking time to read my comment on the discussion topic at a mean time you also deserve my deepest gratitude from the bottom of my hart for the fact that you forwarded your reflection on my point of view .

        Dear bro. As far as my stance and your reflection is concerned on the nexus between plane 5050 and our CONTINENT AFRICA I would like to assure you that, we are on the same side;I mean elected women in African parliaments or ministerial posts are not really elected for the post they are “said ” to hold. Rather I am saying that they are there because they are selected by their parties to serve symbolic presence.

        Besides if you have a doubt about the increment of women top officials in African ministerial posts and that of African parliament is concerned don’t be mistaken As far as the increment is concerned please see an article by Aili Mari Tripp .Women and Politics in Africa . which was post on democracy in Africa : Today 9 December 2013 Tripp say that :-
        One of the most fascinating developments in African politics has been the increase in women’s political participation since the mid 1990s. Women are becoming more engaged in a variety of institutions from local government, to legislatures, and even the executive. Today, Africa is a leader in women’s parliamentary representation globally. African countries have some of the world’s highest rates of representation.

        Dear Galata even though I didn’t agree with Tripp about the so called Democracy as a cause for women increment ,I can agree with her on the empirical data that there are many women in local and national level in our continent Africa. As such I can say Africa will achieve planet 5050 with elected and symbolic women representatives. Again for me this will be a good achievement for the fact that it can let us achieve gender balance I mean numerical equality between men and women.

        I have question do you know the usual African cliche ?.
        It says “something is better than nothing”, and I really like it .

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      • excited by your lovely comment dear Tagel. but, I believe that playing number politics does not grantee the real empowering women. I absolutely, know the number we have in Africa today there is incredible but symbolic representation for me its footstep for institutionalizing existing inequality. In short, I like to say even if women in political position are few in number they must have actual power to give decision.
        thank you!

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    • Dear brother Tagel
      I have read your argument that Africa will achieve the goal of planet 50/50. but don’t you think that it is more of ambitious. let be realistic we African are struggling to get out our selves from poverty and civil wars and conflicts. how it could be possible to achieve this goal while Africans are living in extreme poverty. Africa is facing different internal conflict here and there. and this the most favorable condition to violate women’s right.
      Most African leaders lacking commitment, they are worrying about their term of office not about their people, they are not committed to end this unbalanced relationship of men and women.
      For me as I discussed above there are preconditions that must fulfill to achieve the planet 50/50.
      These conditions might be reducing extreme poverty, building strong multiparty system which can accommodate political differences, adopting sense of accountability and transparency, implementing periodic, free and credible election, creating strong institutions, not strong man as president Obama stated out in his speech to the Ghanian parliament in 2009. in my conclusion we have to start by evaluating our selves where we are now and where we want to be objectively.

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  8. “Women are the other half of humanity” I really liked how you pointed out women to have an equal part in the world. I said this because most of the time articles that talk about feminism tend to put women’s role not as equal but as it was more than men, but the truth is that we both have equal part for the development of this world and our continent Africa, and we are (as women) demanding for equality not priority.
    I like your argument, how you somehow predicted that the idea “planet 50/50” is in some way over the top since the status quo suggests the opposite or going on a down ward spiral. I agree with what you have presented, I believe the most important factor here is that not only the African leadership acknowledging that women’s equality is imperative but also implementation needs focus. I see the equality scenario as an idea, which is going on a completely different path where it was supposed to be going forward. All the civil war and act of terrorism have multiplied the challenges of women all over Africa, they say women deserve to have an equal opportunity and at the same time we here the most outrageous atrocities happening to them.
    African leadership and some women activists have not even begun talking about giving women opportunities to harness and explore their options when this despicable treat, which has been dormant for centuries, exploded and now we are back to square one, we are not only demanding equality but the abduction, rape, mental and physical torture to just stop. Where to begin? I think this is a very pressing issue, how to protect women from going through such carnage?
    It is good that all those initiatives are out in the open, which would help in taking the first step towards helping women attain their goal and pushing them to take part in decision-making processes. The society has an imperative role in building women’s moral, changing their attitudes matters gravely. May be then it would be plausible to talk about planet 50/50, we are not even remotely close to achieving that, 15 years won’t cut it.

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  9. It is obvious that women contain more than half of our population in the world so that they have decisive role for prosperity. As a result, there are many international and regional conventions as well as national policies to ensure gender equality in all sphere life. Moreover, recently UN hosted “#Planet5050”, Step it up for Gender Equality in 2030 and our continent, Africa, is one of those to realize this program as well.
    Personally I don’t think so; Africa will realize full-fledged gender balance in all sectors within the coming 15 years thought it has been different protocols in regarding to women via accepting international conventions. First and foremost, we have to be aware about situations or differences, difficulties and opportunities among the continents as well and then we can guess weather they will achieve /not the planet 50-50.Here, the reason why I am saying in such away is that first, civil war and violence are common in most African states now a day like south Sudan and DRC. As we know most African countries began democratization process as soon as their independence but still there is great violation of human rights. It is true that in some African states, there is a progress of women representation in parliament but when we come to the ministerial and other decision making office they are neglected. Secondly, I think political power competitions and greed interest of leaders are also one of the factors which affect the realization of this goal. Many leaders are addicted to power and change the constitution unlawfully for the sake to retain their power rather than satisfying and answering public interest. Of course, the Beijing platform calls Africa to be aware on gender equality and implement in line of African’s agenda 2063. However, most women are highly vulnerable to rape and other inhuman actions.Thirdly, culture by itself affect and sustain implementation of the program because most of us are stick with our culture. However, human rights are universal their implementation may be culture specific.Gender based violence in Africa also a critical problem.Lastly, economic capacity or potentials has also played a decisive role to empower women. States are expected to provide funds through it to realize women’s capacity building and so on. Even though, some countries haveprogress of women’s representation in parliament they are highly rare in other political and decision making offices. To sum up, for me, Africa sticking with such problems, it is difficult to overwhelmingly attain gender balance at all levels as well.

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  10. This is an amazing article to read and a good information too. And you also raised a good question “is gender equality a national priority for our African governments?” I would say the much probability of Africa leadership tend to ignore this gender gap, because most African governments are male dominated, power and resource oriented which see the oppression of our sisters as natural. most of the time the issue of gender in Africa is rhetorical than real, for example you have mentioned South Sudan and DRC where the rate of women right violation is getting horrible, where DRC is number one in the world for the rate of women being raped, it’s really shame for Africa to be known for such things so what shall we do? In times of crisis like the South Sudan and DRC the AU should intervene and give solutions, we have seen how women’s were vulnerable to rape, killings, and so many things in Liberia in the era of Charles Taylor. So, why wait to see more devastating things happening on our sisters. On a continent level AU should do something, on a national level I think there is lack of awareness, backwardness on this issue. Simply we can see our country our level of awareness not only in the rural but in the urban is too low about gender gap, if we go to the rural parts of Ethiopia and see our sisters its most likely true to get back with our head down, so in order to achieve the 2030 goal each nation should develop an instution which focuses on gender issues not only occupied by women’s but also men cause everyone should take part on this quest. In order for Africa to eclipse poverty and violence the involvement of women plays vital role and we should give recognition for our women heroism. We should forget out past oppression by colonialism and abolish lack of democracy and work for better opportunity that will enhance equality, peace and security.

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  11. By Haset Gebremeskel
    This is article gave me insight about how the achievement of some special African women can’t be the reality of the majority of African women who live in economically deprived, life threatening and inequality in most of the continent nations. It also made me question the attainability of most of the goals set by regional community (AU). And I found the question “is gender equality a national priority for our African governments?” As a very pressing issue where the governments in the continent face challenges such as regression democracy, conflict and economy stagnation(Elshadiah Mesfin). This also makes one to question the commitment and the effort that will be put to attain the goals. Nations like south Africa and Rwanda have shown the progress in achieving gender balance in political parity between male and female, or even with slightest increase for in female representation in parliament in Rwanda’s case but the question of the full representation of women interest and addressing the effects of oppression in them still remain as a pressing issue in almost every nation of the content. We all have heard 2016 is special year for African women, since focus are made in women’s right but how far such pledges goes in providing the progressing the existing gender gap, gender blindness and gender inequality is thing we should all witness in the coming future. Because Africa is a nation with highest number of rape, people under poverty (especially women) and countries still cleaning after civil, and religious extremist wars. As a women and an African I hope and long to see my country and my continent to be home of equality of sex, opportunity and prosperity for box sexes but I doubt that with the effort we putting in these pledges and goals will only be pushed from decades to decades without any attainment and leaving out half of the world out of the picture.

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    • In Africa Women are living in oppression compared to other states of the world. This oppression are most of the time are coming from males because we are living in a male dominated world. To talk about gender equality is important but it has to appear at the right time. Africa has enough problems that need priority that is the reason we couldn’t find a space which is open for gender equality. Different plans can be set by different organs so as to attain gender equality but we have to make sure that these plans can be achieved. Setting goals and sorting out problems can be very easy but to make it happen is challenging. #planet5050 is a good step for the far dream of Africa because it is close to impossible to think of equality in the devastating conflict situations of Africa. Efficient finance and time is needed for the attainment of gender parity. I don’t think the government is also ready to ensure equality it even failed to protect their lives from any kinds of violence. War in Africa is likely to increase time to time So how can we think of equality while we have extensive problems to address?
      African women are not in a position to seek equality right now rather they need to be secured. Security is a prior agenda for them and looking every corner of the continent is enough to understand the situations. It seems irony that we are saying we can achieve gender equality while we are unable to eradicate gender based violence. how can we expect a woman who has been through a lot of problems to be competitive with men?
      when we get to work we should start by solving small problems and I think setting up women for women programs can be the first step to bring women in a position were they can be independent because this kind of programs create an environment to share stories and to support each other. I agree with #Elshaddai Mesfins idea because we need to be realistic when we think of the future.

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  12. In Africa Women are living in oppression compared to other states of the world. This oppression are most of the time are coming from males because we are living in a male dominated world. To talk about gender equality is important but it has to appear at the right time. Africa has enough problems that need priority that is the reason we couldn’t find a space which is open for gender equality. Different plans can be set by different organs so as to attain gender equality but we have to make sure that these plans can be achieved. Setting goals and sorting out problems can be very easy but to make it happen is challenging. #planet5050 is a good step for the far dream of Africa because it is close to impossible to think of equality in the devastating conflict situations of Africa. Efficient finance and time is needed for the attainment of gender parity. I don’t think the government is also ready to ensure equality it even failed to protect their lives from any kinds of violence. War in Africa is likely to increase time to time So how can we think of equality while we have extensive problems to address?
    African women are not in a position to seek equality right now rather they need to be secured. Security is a prior agenda for them and looking every corner of the continent is enough to understand the situations. It seems irony that we are saying we can achieve gender equality while we are unable to eradicate gender based violence. how can we expect a woman who has been through a lot of problems to be competitive with men?
    when we get to work we should start by solving small problems and I think setting up women for women programs can be the first step to bring women in a position were they can be independent because this kind of programs create an environment to share stories and to support each other. I agree with #Elshaddai Mesfins idea because we need to be realistic when we think of the future.

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  13. In Africa Women are living in oppression’s compared to other states of the world. This oppression are most of the time are coming from males because we are living in a male dominated world. To talk about gender equality is important but it has to appear at the right time. Africa has enough problems that need priority that is the reason we couldn’t find a space which is open for gender equality. Different plans can be set by different organs so as to attain gender equality but we have to make sure that these plans can be achieved. Setting goals and sorting out problems can be very easy but to make it happen is challenging. #planet5050 is a good step for the far dream of Africa because it is close to impossible to think of equality in the devastating conflict situations of Africa. Efficient finance and time is needed for the attainment of gender parity. I don’t think the government is also ready to ensure equality it even failed to protect their lives from any kinds of violence. War in Africa is likely to increase time to time So how can we think of equality while we have extensive problems to address?
    African women are not in a position to seek equality right now rather they need to be secured. Security is a prior agenda for them and looking every corner of the continent is enough to understand the situations. It seems irony that we are saying we can achieve gender equality while we are unable to eradicate gender based violence. how can we expect a woman who has been through a lot of problems to be competitive with men?
    when we get to work we should start by solving small problems and I think setting up women for women programs can be the first step to bring women in a position were they can be independent because this kind of programs create an environment to share stories and to support each other. I agree with #Elshaddai Mesfins idea because we need to be realistic when we think of the future.

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  14. The agenda of planet 5050 which intended to achieve in 2030 by united nation (UN) is that in aim the of step up gender equality which is putting woman’s and girls to the same level that gives respect, appreciation and acknowledge as that of men .following this African union (AU)name the 2015 the year of women empowerment and development
    The author of this article is also seems skeptical about the achievement and the implementation of this agenda by Africa countries which I agreed with the outer.
    My point regarding to this implementation is that ,I doubt both at the UN and AU level. This is because when we see the achievement of UN regarding to women’s equality since the establishment in is not achieved as it should be due to several factors. when I come to AU and member state my doubt is limit less. This is because of the following factors.
    In Africa women’s have gain considerable socio- economic and political gain which is undeniable fact ,that does not mean that those all problem has been solved but relatively from the time of independence things has been changed .in other side the issue of chilled marriage, harmful tradition is still the reality for the women’s in Africa.
    The other point is that at the age most African state reach the level of regression in democracy. This would be like a dream because if state are not democratic in the existence of diversity there is probability of brake out of violence which majorly affect the women and the girl and also the government focuses on regime security to maintain the political power .this can led me to the conclusion that if the government focuses only on the maintain the political power there is no vision of leading the country to progressive way that means focuses only in the internal security affair by disregarding other issue like the issue of women achievement.
    The other issue is women’s economic empowerment need to achieve this plane. The economic empowerment of the women’s need both political commitment and economic capacity. In both most the African states has been blamed for .if they have both problem how could they achieve this plane.

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  15. The way I see it, yes, it is unlikely even close to impossible for Africa to achieve gender equality by 2030 and it would be naive to agree otherwise. And I also do agree that continent have a lot of pressing issues at the time that might cause the skepticism as to the prospect of #Planet5050. But still, as one of those skeptics, I have my reservations as to the reasons of the African governments not making the issue of gender equality a national priority. Like you have explained in your article by the change that could be attained in providing women with the same roles in labor market it’s safe to conclude that achieving gender equality not only solves our societal and moral issues but also can make a major difference in our economical status. That being said, I believe that the main problem in relation to African governments is not supporting the protocols, charters and legislation that are being proposed to enable women to attain their full potential rather not genuinely believing that solving gender inequality can actually solve many problems of Africa. Needless to say we do have shocking level of violence and violations in the continent, be it a fight against extremism, migration crises, non-democratic elections or peace keeping missions. But don’t you think if the leaders actually make gender inequality a national priority, participate women in the labor market as well as men and put women in decision making decision positions like the very few successful women in your article, that by itself will make a big difference in those pressing issues we somehow use as a justification to neglect gender questions? I do. Am not saying here that that’s all it takes but it would truly go a long way in our quest for eradication poverty, getting a democratic system and good governance and well as maintaining peace and security.

    Security starts at the individual level. If a women in Africa is secured from her economical, social, cultural and political inequalities that in effect will open her ways to be an influential participant in her home, society, country even her continent. And even though the successful women you mentioned and also the improvements in African countries might not represent the overall population it’s still something to be inspired of and an indication that if we have the true commitment and effort it requires, we too can change.

    Coming to the attainability of #Planet5050, like I said at the beginning having a realistic view at the contemporary national developments and their pace to get here, it will force us to admit the unfortunate fact that there is a high chance that we will reach the equal treatment of women we all urge for. But this in no way should discourage us or make us deviate from our end goal i.e. to make gender equality a “national priority” globally but especially in Africa.

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  16. It is given that gender is socially constructed, exists in every society and was there for time immemorial. According to Grown, (2005, p31), “The practice of inequality is socially constructed and practiced throughout human life. Gender is a social construct; it defines roles, responsibilities, rights and obligations of women “. In this light, it isn’t hard to notice that patriarchy is at the center of African societies, dictating the roles of each member of the society, at every age and level. In my opinion, the system of patriarchy plays a big role in systematically excluding or even avoiding women from participating in all aspects of higher leadership and decision making positions. I am not undermining the efforts and progresses made so far. Women are working in different fields and are actually giving back to their communities, but I still don’t think it’s enough.
    Policies have been formulated in different countries to increase the number of women and also to empower them, but the problem comes when it comes to implementation. Reasons for failure in implantation might be several, but I believe that culture and the system of patriarchy are at the center of it. “In the democratization process of many African post-conflict countries, new constitutions were drafted and ratified granting women equal economic, political, and social rights with men, (Sorensen 1998, 177).
    Women representatives face many obstacles and difficulties, including shortage of financial resources, the absence of political will among staff, lack of gender awareness, or the perceived “incompatibility” of gender equality with the existing cultural or social norms concerning gender roles, (Sorensen 1998). Moreover, as Nzomo (2000, p.8) indicates, in societies where unchanged patriarchal culture and social norms persist, these reforms cannot be implemented. This is because: “the society itself compels women to return to their pre-conflict gender roles. In some cases, male members of the society and local authorities discourage the political participation of women.” (Watteville,2002).
    Therefore, I agree with the author of this article on the point that, “ It is unlikely that Africa will achieve gender equality in the next 15 years.” As mentioned in the above sentences, there is a problem in implementing policies, because, in my opinion, the concept of gender equality is inconsistent with African cultures, at least at the state we are in. In order for the policies become reality and to achieve gender equality, the concept should be incorporated in the culture by working at grassroots level; and we all perfectly know that incorporating it or making cultural change takes more than 15 years.

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  17. In my point of view, gender equality was one of the Millennium Development goals, and now it is the goal of Sustainable development goals. A lot has been done by the states, international governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations to realize the goal and have showed a progress to have gender equality. Even if women’s participation increase in different aspects in the national and international arena, gender equality was not yet achieved.
    Indeed, in Africa there is a progress in participation of women in countries and continental agenda, gender equality needs further commitment to achieve. Empowering women in decision making level is not the end target rather it is a means to instigate the whole population for the long mission of gender equality. Still there is a big challenge women are vulnerable to be a victim in the household, conflicting areas, and in the peace keeping mission. Majority of African society there is a culture of stereotype women and gender based discrimination. We cannot easily handle and scratch such problem in the 15 year plan. Lack of political commitment/ will, unequal power relation, violence against women, public commitment and action, illiteracy are some of the barriers and constraints not to assert gender equality now and a potential factor for the future. ” No country has achieved gender equality”. Even the developed countries can’t achieved, that they makes gender equality as an agenda for many years.
    We have a number of protocols, legislations, laws and charters in Africa as well as at international level. However, this does not bring the desired result for the inclusive participation of women. In Africa, the problem is chronic.
    Empowering women starts at the grassroots level to make them to be competent enough with the whole society. Educating the whole section of society is the best option. However, Africa is challenging by it.
    From this assumption I can conclude that women’s may come to higher position in different aspects in the national and continental hemisphere but does not mean genuine gender equality achieved. It is challenging for Africa to achieve Planet 50: 50 plan in 2030.

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  18. I am also skeptic about the prospects for the realization of planet 5050 by the coming 15 years. It is a kind of plan with no plausible conditions as a spring board. As to me, the gender gap is deep rooted at the grass root level. The public at the grass root level is not well aware about gender equality. For example in the community where I am from, majority of the people didn’t have a confidence to put women’s at decision making level. This is not the only problem; the conditions to build their capacity so as to be competent enough with men’s are not safe. They are still in a difficult chain of problems to build their capacity (through education and the like) and to make their voice audible. Therefore talking about their representation at higher government positions doesn’t make sound, given the fact that the awareness of the community at grass root level regarding gender equality is limited.
    The patriarchal legacy (which is even protected by the system) is still dominant in most of African countries especially at the grass root community level. And its spillover effect over the political, economic and social life of women’s is highly manifested. There could be a possibility to equate the ratio of men to women at higher government positions through campaign. But, will they be audible/ influential enough? I doubt. By the way, I am against campaign movement. It may result a dangerous consequence. It must not be a matter of campaign. The basic foundations should be laid at the grass root level of the community which later helps to cultivate a quantified and qualified women’s in all aspects of life whom then the community puts a trust on.
    We may register a progress in terms of women’s assumption of power at higher government offices through campaign, but that must not seen as the indicator of success. The question should be, are opportunities and conditions provided equally for men’s and women’s? Are they passing through the same opportunities and conditions out of their natural difference? And are they judged based on their merit? All in all, I have a pessimist view regarding the realization of planet 5050 by the next 15 years.

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  19. I as well concur that gender equality is not “national priority” for African governments. For the reason that, African Governments have to address priorities that should come before the issue of “gender equality”. Before coming the track to achieve gender equality there are other tribulations that should be address prior. Violence against women in Africa is at a standstill on alarming proportion. Throughout African conflicts, women’s are vulnerable society. Besides civil wars impairment, harm and misery towards women’s, extremists also are threatening young girls. In the majority African states, there is still harmful cultural practices, akin to female genital multination, forced and early marriage, unwanted pregnancy… despite all of this enduring and unsolved tribulations, captivating about ” gender equality ” in Africa is truly an ambitious goal. Prior should be eradicating violence against women and girls’ and exterminate harmful culture practice. By the time then we would able to reverie about gender equality. As to me, it is unattainable to anticipate gender equality where there are still harmful practices is practicing and where gender based violence not engraved. It is delusional effort to preach about gender equality, women empowerment or women involvement in politics or economy to women that are affected and suffering by a conflict or girls that are harm by cultural practices. All they need for the time being is freedom from harm and violence. As of many conflicts are occurring in Africa and cultural practice are still practicing, governments of African states priority should be given to securing those women’s and girls so they can latter think about gender equality, empowerment…. Throughout those obstacles, we should not disregard the fact about the progress. Even if envisaging Africa will succeed gender equality under “Planet 5050” is ambiguous, the progress throughout those challenge is appreciable.

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  20. Comments
    In the first place the issues of gender equality as a wide social movement couldn’t be or shouldn’t taken as a simplistic task that all governments in different countries can address in the same efforts and timeframes as these countries have different levels of societal consciousness, socioeconomic, political, attitudinal, behavioral, cultural and institutional progresses that emanate from different factors with the particular experiences of each country. This follows that these variations in levels development (not only a mere economic growth) might either pose a challenge to or opportunities in an effort to bring gender equality. For instance ,countries in Asia and Africa have different degrees and kinds of challenges to that of countries in the west that might not address in the same efforts and time used by countries in the west. In this regard the proposed effort for Gender Equality in 2030, appeared to be non inclusive and up down approach regardless of the existing realities. Secondly, the topic of gender equality and women empowerment has been demolished to political economic phenomenon both by UN to which the writer relied on for her arguments. Gender equality couldn’t achieved by having or making equal number of male and female politicians in the national decision making process as well as playing an identical role in labor markets to that of men is not a guarantee for exercising women full potential in all walks of life.

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  21. I would like to start my comment on #Planet5050: Will Africa get there in 2030? by appreciating the writer, Elshadai M. I agree with the general idea of this post that it might be too ambitious for Africa to achieve gender equality in Africa within 14 years from now. I would like to start by explaining what equality means to me to have a say on the issue raised here.
    To have what the common understanding on the concept of equality, I went through the internet; the web page called EQUALITY NOW and watched a short video. In the video, quality is explained as “equal opportunity with brothers”, “freedom from violence”, and “having a control on one’s body”. I guess these are what come to our mind first, when we think of equality. But, I always think that equality should be guaranteed from just being used as a cliché and a policy framework in papers. And I suggest for the society to accept and work for gender equality its positive result must be witnessed; or at least there should be some sparkle. Therefore, I believe women not only have equal access and the right to be protected against, but they should also have equal contribution with the other half to bring fruit to the whole.
    Having said this, I believe it will be difficult for our continent to achieve gender equality in a crystal-clear and holistic manner i.e. 5050. If we are talking about policy improvement, I think it will not be that difficult for state actors to bring legal guarantees or to ensure equal placement by making women on top. But, these are not what matters or what changes the status-quo rather the representation or participation of women should bring at least equal contribution with that of men’s. Only then our “manmade” planet be supportive of the goal; and the purpose and the motive of making the planet fair field are achieved as stated by McKinsey Global Institute “…as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.” And to have women equally contributing, lots of measures need to be addressed starting from zero. So, I believe, in Africa’s present reality, these home works might take a lot more than just 14 years.
    In conclusion, I would like to say that only one half of the agenda, i.e. policy framework and participation, could possibly be fulfilled, but not the other and real half which is ensuring the equal contribution of women with men.

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  22. as far as the article concern it is very interesting and convey a clear and precise message with the focus of women empowerment and women’s role in different aspect in such as in the economic, politics and specially in the area of peace and conflict women’s contribution are relevant in the article.this the clear idea of the #planet 5050,which should be understandable, and acceptable by all human. and should have to struggle for the realization of the the so called #planet 5050;

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  23. Generally speaking the author of the article mentioned a very vital the international documents that give more attention to gender and their respective role in society being socially , politically and economically. All mentioned international documents lack the implementation of the blue print and as was expected .we can see still that women in our continent are still disadvantaged in most important areas that they have right to involve,but also it s matter of fact that there was and is some improvement specifically the standard of living like access to health and education ,because these rights was denied in the earlier days ,but still we much lagging behind the issues like the representations and decision making.
    As far as Gender peace and security is concerned there is absence of gender neutrality in African Peace processes because of the most of our society patriarchy and has mentality to women as victims rather agents of peace. What matters is that addressing the problems related to conflict and acknowledgement to the gender difference in their role to the negotiations ,reconciliations and conflict management.

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  24. The agenda that is set to totally ensure women equality by the end of 2030 is significant that help states and those international communities to fulfill the desired goal, because this is something that will be finalized through a long term actions and measures. Bringing a women right is not a simple task, hence, there are many things that we need to keep on cleaning till it become cleared as white.
    In addition to the idea that, if women become involved in the business world then our world economy will grow much better, I would like to also add that our world will also be benefited in multi-dimension and because women as an individual can contribute something to our world, we can grasp different and variety skills and techniques.
    If women are given support from different organizations and if men become much more willing to stand beside women and empower them, then like you said we will be able to see plenty decision making bodies which are women especially African women rather than small number of women in the decision making sits.
    But the idea that heads of states must make it their national priority is one of the major key in order to sustain women right and keep their security, but what obstacles them from this like you said is civil war, fragile state, and lack of democracy order especially in Africa continent. I also agree with your points regarding these matters. However, if you see it in another term which is culture and technology, these two things are also what obstacles states whether directly or indirectly from doing their task. Because each state has its own culture that sometimes it contradicts with the international platform as well as technology growth is a major thing that enable us in order to do our task effectively, and so, these two things do also obstacle states even if the state is sustainable state and is out of conflict/violence environment

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  25. Indeed, an empowered woman is a nation empowered. However, empowering a woman without guaranteeing the right to equality may be quite challenging, all issues regarding women in the African context. As a matter of fact, the Maputo Protocol states that every woman has the right “to the recognition and protection of her human and legal rights.” It includes articles on equality in marriage, access to justice and political participation, protection of women in armed conflict and the provision of education, training and health care. It also upholds women’s rights to housing and inheritance, and contains guidelines on ending traditional practices such as female genital mutilation. Despite all these very important instruments available in the African Human Rights System, absence of national laws to domesticate and implement them poses a drawback to the intention contemplate in these instruments, that of, protecting gender equality on the continent and abolishing discrimination./ the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa/
    When it comes to implementing the gender equality agenda in most African countries still remains a challenge. This is mostly due to the fact that various regional and international instruments signed by States Parties are not implemented and do not translate into positive changes in the daily lives of women. Women still remain at the back burner with poor access to land, education and health; they continue to be victims of gender-based violence; in addition to poverty and cultural stereotype practices which impede them from being treated equally as men, thus eroding some of the development gains they could attain .here is the paradox .So how to implement and to closing the gender gap by 2030 what is the prefer mechanisms especially for Africa? I am not pessimistic and I agree with your general idea of this post but there is obstacles to achieve and implement planet50-50.Such as Institutional and structural constraints intersect with cultural and attitudinal barriers that limit women’s roles in public life, Social norms discourage women’s participation in many countries, Violence affects women who challenge to speak up and participate in political life. The effect of all these constraints is that today, only 17 countries have women as a Head of State or Government. Only 17 per cent of government ministers are women, and just over 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians are women. This means that nearly 80 per cent of the world’s parliamentarians are men. ( source Drive home the urgency of Planet 50-50 by 2030” Lakshmi Puri )
    Achieving equality for men and women by 2030 is not only a social and moral issue, but also one that is economically critical. Personally I agree but there are also structural constraints and attitudinal barriers, which inhibit women’s full and equal participation in the formal economy. As such, 75 per cent of women are trapped in informal and low paid jobs. The global gender pay gap is 24 per cent, which is a disadvantage that accumulates over women’s lifetimes and holds women back.Women are also underrepresented in economic leadership positions. Women’s share of board seats at stock index companies is 19.2 per cent in the US, 20.8 per cent in Canada, 18.5 per cent in Germany, 22.8 per cent in the UK and 19.2 per cent in Australia. The average in Africa is 14.4 per cent, in the Asia Pacific region 9.8 per cent, in Latin America 5.6 per cent and in the Middle East 1 per cent. /source Drive home the urgency of Planet 50-50 by 2030” Lakshmi Puri/
    When it comes to Africa continent land is a scarce commodity and connected to economic survival for the majority of the population without access to land women remain economical dependent on men and will be unable to become full and equal participant in the society. There economic dependence will also leave them vulnerable to exploitation and violence.
    IF barriers are removed, hopefully to achieve the 2030 Agenda but, barriers are not removed, it would take more years to reach it.

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  26. In my own personal opinion , yes! definitely Africa can achieve men and women equality by 2030. What I want to give emphasis is that inequality between men and women is not something create at a night accidentally. I thought that it is an evolution. therefore, as UN women executive Director Phumzile Mombo-Ngcuka says it takes long time to avoid the structural foundation of inequality. let us consider the gap between today and before 15 years ago. the gap would be narrowed. even the perception of the society has been changing. so assume what will happen after 15 years. hopefully same change. Therefore, I believe that the women and men inequality can be ensured i the next 15 years.
    The write quoted in the third paragraph “as such, despite the pledges and commitments that were made, action and implementation are still missing.” of coarse this is right but it is also obvious and repeatedly sayed. Rather it was good if the writer can suggest different mechanisms that can facilitate and foster the action and implementation of the policies.

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  27. The issue of gender which is in most cases perceived and understood as the superiority of man and inferiority of women is something that has been existed for many centuries, inherited and constructed from generation to generation all over our planet. This socially produced differences between being feminine and masculine has been also experienced all over the African continent, especially rural parts, for some known and unknown reason, but all unjust and unfair discrimination targeting women.So the issue of gender inequality in Africa is a deep rooted and complex problem- a multidimensional problem found in every aspect of (political, economic, social and cultural) life of the society.
    It is a problem still existing regardless of the adoption of plenty International Human Rights Instruments/Bills, such as Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women,Universal Declaration on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, social and Cultural and Rights, The African Charter on Human and Peoples Right and other National Constitutions and Legislation, before 50s and 60s years ago. It is a problem still existing regardless of the establishment of various institutions and systems mandated to alleviate this challenge. Let alone in Africa where there are additional aggravating situations, even in the so-called “Developed Nations…. Western” the problem is still existing.
    Therefore,how can we say “Africa will achieve Gender Equality” after 14 years, in 2030? Where there is still some political instability, civil conflict, atrocities and mass violation, where there is very less Political commitment/will, where there is limited financial capacity, where there is huge Illiteracy/lack of awareness and more importantly where there is a strong belief and cultural thought of gender inequality developed and constructed over thousand years by the societies, including women themselves.

    So if this is the case, then it will simple for me to argue that the “Vision” is unrealistic. Because it did not take into account the fact on the ground which I mentioned above and triggered by other challenges of the continent and with in this short period of time. How come?

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  28. We all know that Many African women still live under traditional belief systems and non-operational legislation that take care of them as less than full citizens and stop their voice from bei r ng fully heard in the governance of African societies. The issue that raised on Elshaddai’s article try to reflect the issue and aim of The planet 50-50 campaign to fill the gender gap in next 14 years in 2030.
    The United Nations has done a broad review of the obstacles that women and girls face and planned key targets to help break down the obstacle to gender equality around the world. To make improvement against these targets, it is important to be familiar with that women’s empowerment is not just a social issue, but also an economic one and Empowering girls is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty. So if women empowerment is an economic issue having a low economy is which leads people to extremism, migration, and to major problem of the continent like that are raised on the article. In my opinion all comes after the gender gap filled because any activity which is done with having a half population is not better than doing nothing. Finally Planet5050 is not an ambitious goal for the continent and Africa will achieve gender equality in the next 14 years if all Africans’ work together for the aim.

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  29. UN’s “#Planet5050” campaign or the goal to women’s achievement of their full potential as “national priority” or all the other protocols and legislations formulated in light of promoting women’s right are all good start, but not certainly the end, to closing the gender gap. The desire of achieving gender equality in 2030 is a mere objective that must be backed by a sound and realistic strategy to make the objective fruitful.
    Lacking the “political will” to make gender equality a “national priority” together with the other “more pressing” issues Africa as a continent and most of its nations are facing, is allocation of budget by governments with intent to achieving gender equality in 2030 really feasible? Is this really sensible strategy to go about the issue?
    The gender equality Africa strives for presupposes gender inequality. This, gender inequality we have been experiencing, is the product of hundreds years of work by society. Society, particularly in our continent, guided by culture, religion…. has structured the role of women in a society. It is because of this structure, which has been there for hundreds of years, that Africa has insignificant number of women in politics, decision making positions and in peace processes.
    Be it the domestic violence, the physical violence women face whenever crisis arises, the mental violence women face which confines them from claiming anything or any right and to only belong in the kitchen is the attribute of the societal structure and its definition of women.
    Africa, a continent where culture, tradition, religion, belief…. are greatly valued, has structured its societies so much around these values. I believe it’s these values that set the role and definition of women in society. And I strongly believe that if we are to achieve gender equality, deconstructing these values should be the starting point.
    Now, my question is can legislations, protocols and campaigns have the power to deconstruct what is socially constructed?
    The lack of the political will is also related to the fact that the politicians are also the product of the same social structure that they may not find gender equality issues worthy of giving attention. Likewise, legislations, protocols and campaigns put in a set up where society has a lesser place and value for women is most likely not to successed, not in 15 years time at least.
    Provided that the involvement of governments in ensuring gender equality is still necessary however, the issue of gender equality is not sole responsibility of government. The responsibility should start from every house hold in guarantying gender equality within the house which eventually can reflect gender equality at a community level. This bottom-up strategy which can be implemented at a local level can produce relatively gendered generation for the future.

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  30. Despite the fact that there is an improvement or progress of gender parity in some part of Africa countries (northern Africa), the existence of gender gap in other part of the continent will hinder Africa to close gender gap by 2030. To me the following reasons below could be the major challenges for the continent to achieve gender balance at decision-making positions by 2030. The reasons are: Though there is a little progress of gender parity in the continent, the prevalence of gender disparity among youth population in term of literacy rate especially in Sub-Saharan Africa could make the continent not to achieve gender balance by 2030. This is because if there is a gender gap at youth level, there is no possibility to achieve gender balance at decision making positions; the prevalence of civil conflict in Africa which highly affected women and children can also be a critical challenge in the continent to achieve gender parity at decision making positions by 2030. For instance, before civil war erupted in South Sudan, there was a woman who holds governorship position in the former ten states of South Sudan. However, when the president Salva Kiir dissolve 10 states and create 28 controversial states, he failed to appoint any single woman in the governorship position and when he was asked by journalists of SSTV (South Sudan Television) in order to give a comment or reason about why he did not appoint any single woman again in the new states, president Kiir simply said that the reason why I failed to appoint any single woman is because “women are very weak and they are not fit to assume governorship position in the time of conflict”. This negative perception on women is a problem by itself in Africa. Another rationale behind my argument is lack of actions and practices by African role players to fulfill their promises as well as lack of strong governmental institutions –where there are rule of law (not rule by law), gender equality, good governance, and independent judiciary. From the above reasons that I mentioned, I am very pessimistic that African governments will achieve gender balance at decision making positions by 2030.
    Thanks you,
    Latkuoth Lual

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  31. An interesting read, I agree with the conclusion of the author. #Planet 5050 is a very ambitious plan. Closing down the gender gap with in 15 years and ensuring equality between men and women, however alluring, is unrealistic.
    At the outset, the plan does not take into consideration the particularities of each subject. In the international community, there are advanced States that have achieved gender equality. In addition, some continents have gone far in this aspect. In my opinion, Africa is one of the continents that have lagged behind in this aspect. This is without denying, the outstanding achievements of ensuring representation in the AU and within their national states, as the author pointed out. Therefore, setting out a plan to the whole world, is like expecting all participants to finish the race equally although not all have begun at the starting line.
    The plan insists that governments make closing the gender gap to be a national priority, which is the right direction. But the issue would be, are African governments willing to do that? Considering the different instabilities many of the African States are facing, it would be unlikely although their priorities will be elsewhere.

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