||The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), is the latest in a long line of policy frameworks intended to place Africa on a path of sustainable growth and development.
Currently being celebrated in the international community as a model for international cooperation, this plan is lauded for its vision and African ownership in design and implementation. While the ink is yet dry on its ratification, researchers, African politicians, G-8 leaders and civil society actors are trying to assess NEPAD's implications and how best to ensure its appropriate implementation.
This paper assesses if, and how, the NEPAD can address gender equality in Africa. With regards to gender equality considerations, critics have pointed to the gender-blindness of the NEPAD, despite the fact that one of its long-term objectives is to (promote the role of women in all activities. This paper explores its gender-blindness as well as how parts of its underlying framework and objectives actually undermine a gender equality agenda. Specifically, the first part of this paper examines the main features of the economic paradigm underpinning the NEPAD (also referred to as "the plan") from a gender perspective. The second part focuses on the gender implications of some of the initiatives proposed for mobilizing resources for development in the NEPAD.
The third part outlines the challenges posed by the NEPAD for women's economic activity, and proposes alternative economic policy options to ensure women's economic empowerment and gender equality.
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