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Reducing gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa has long been accepted as a development goal for equity reasons. More recently, there has been growing recognition that gender inequality significantly constrains economic growth, and hence poverty reduction in Africa.

One of the tasks of the Poverty and Social Policy Working Group of the Special Program of Assistance for Africa (SPA) is to prepare status reports on poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa with a view to informing the policy debate and integrating poverty reduction objectives into economic reform. This 1998 SPA Status Report, Gender, Growth, and Poverty Reduction, documents the structural role of men and women in African economies and examines the linkages between the market and the household. The report makes a convincing case that gender-specific factors constrain effective resource allocation and growth, and that reducing gender inequality in access to and control of productive assets would increase growth, efficiency and welfare. In an environment in which Sub-Saharan Africa's growth prospects are more uncertain, addressing gender-based obstacles to growth and poverty reduction is particularly timely.

This report is the product of close collaboration between the members of the SPA Poverty and Social Policy Working Group. It has also benefited from consultations with representatives of African governments, NGOs, and civil society. The report aims to support efforts by the development community and by African partners to give greater attention to gender issues and to promote gender-inclusive participation in economic policymaking and in the design and implementation of economic reform programs.

An effective response to the problems of gender inequality requires a concerted and coordinated effort by donors, policy makers, African governments, NGOs, and civil society. It is hoped that the wide dissemination of this report, both within donor agencies and with African governments and NGOs, will facilitate dialogue on poverty and gender. We also hope that greater outreach to Africa will help to specify how the agenda outlined in the report can be implemented most effectively.

Peter Freeman

Department for International

Development, United Kingdom

Roger C. Sullivan

Africa Region

World Bank


Poverty and Social Policy Working Group

Special Program of Assistance for Africa

C. Mark Blackden

Chitra Bhanu
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Title Annotation:Gender Growth and Poverty Reduction: Special Program of Assistance for Africa, 1998 Status Report on Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Freeman, Peter; Sullivan, Roger C.
Publication:Gender, Growth and Poverty Reduction
Date:Mar 1, 1999
Next Article:Abstract.

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