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Deepa Gokulsing Department of Social Studies, UoM and Verena Tandrayen-Ragoobur Department of Economics & Statistics, UoM 05 September 2008. GENDER MAINSTRAIMING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. Paper Outline. Introduction Objectives Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality

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gender mainstraiming for sustainable development

Deepa GokulsingDepartment of Social Studies, UoM


Verena Tandrayen-RagooburDepartment of Economics & Statistics, UoM

05 September 2008

paper outline
Paper Outline
  • Introduction
  • Objectives
  • Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality
  • Social Dimension of Gender Inequality
  • Policy Recommendations
  • Conclusion
gender mainstreaming
Gender Mainstreaming
  • Concept introduced in the UN Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, 1985. Further developed in the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing,1995.
  • Strategy where gender is integrated in all government policies, plans, programmes and projects.
  • Transform the existing development agenda using a gender perspective.

Bangladeshi women take part in a protest demanding equal rights in Dhaka.

Women police officers in India formed a national forum to fight sexual harassment and discrimination from their male colleagues.

gender has many dimensions



Gender has many dimensions..


Health and Wellbeing

Political Empowerment

Economic Participation

sustainable development
Sustainable Development
  • Emphasis is on environmental sustainability
  • But sustainable development is more than that – it is multidimensional
  • Encompass economic, social, political, cultural and environmental dimensions.
  • Gender issues and gender inequality are important
gender mainstreaming for sustainable development
Gender mainstreaming for sustainable development
  • It is needed to achieve the goal of gender equality and to remove the imbalances between men and women
  • People at the heart of policy-making
  • Lead to better government
  • Make full use of human resources
  • Make gender equality issues visible in the mainstream of society
  • Consider the diversity among men and women
  • Analyse the impact of gender inequality on the economic growth of Sub Saharan Africa
  • Examine the effect of gender inequality on the Mauritian economy
  • Investigate the social dimension of gender inequality in terms of education, health, governance and sustainable production
  • Propose some relevant policies in general
gender inequality sustainable development ssa
Gender Inequality, Sustainable Development & SSA
  • Gender inequality is very significant in poor countries and among the poor within countries.
  • Africa is seen as the poorest continent on the globe
  • In Africa: promoting gender equality and empowering women (MDG 3) is one of the most important of the eight MDGs.
economic dimension of gender inequality
Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality
  • The target to achieve this MDG is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary enrolment by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.
  • We model gender inequality by using a measure of education. This is an initial step. We intend to use other measures in terms of life expectancy, % of women in government at ministerial level and ratio of female to male earned income.
economic dimension of gender inequality11
Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality

The Theory

  • Direct Effect: Lower female education

means lower human capital and growth.

Feminisation of Poverty

  • Indirect Effects:
    • On mother’s health
    • On the child’s health and education, and fertility rates.
    • Better-informed mothers – lower child mortality rates and malnutrition (Knowles et al. 2002; Klasen 2003).
    • Rise in educated women – feminisation of the labour force - lowers fertility rates and dependency ratios
    • Lower dependency ratios imply higher income.
economic dimension of gender inequality12
Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality

The Evidence

  • Several empirical studies have focused specifically on the role of gender inequality in education as a determinant of income or growth.
  • Recent work includes Esteve-Volart (2000), Klasen (1999, 2002), Knowles (2002), and Klasen and Lamanna (2003).
  • Conclusions from these studies support the existence of a negative effect from gender inequality in education to income or economic growth.
economic dimension of gender inequality13
Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality

Data and Methodology

  • Data - World Bank Development Indicators (2007)
  • A sample of 47 SSA countries
  • Time Frame: 1960 – 2005
  • Panel Data Analysis – FE estimation
  • Mauritius - Time Series Analysis 1960-2005
  • Measure of Gender Inequality - the difference between absolute equality (ratio of 1) and the actual ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education (%).
table 1 preliminary results ssa
Table 1: Preliminary Results – SSA

Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality

table 2 preliminary results mauritius
Table 2: Preliminary Results – Mauritius

Economic Dimension of Gender Inequality

  • Enrolments is the lowest in SSA.
  • Some 115 million still do not attend primary school and 60% of these are girls (Greig et al, 2007)
  • 2 out of every 3 rural Ghanaians can not send their children to school (UNDP 2003:115).
education in mauritius
Education in Mauritius
  • Access to free education in 1977
  • Girls perform better than boys
  • But men are still qualified overall than women
  • Differences remain in the types of subjects studied by males and females
  • Men are more likely to be in the prestigious subjects that offer the best career prospects.
  • Women are enrolled in subjects like humanities rather than engineering.
  • Bunwaree (1997:viii) points out: “Mauritius has an official policy of equality of educational opportunity for boys and girls, but this policy does not get translated into reality. Equality of opportunity does not mean only access to schools. Outcomes to schooling too are important in measuring equality”
  • Females should not only be given the opportunity to access tertiary education but benefit from opportunities for higher education on an equitable basis.
  • Women live longer than men due to genetic factors but also to different behavioural, lifestyle and working patterns.
  • Globally, female life expectancy is about 6% higher than for men.
  • Since women tend to be poorer, they are more prone than men to self-declared ill-health, reduced work capacity due to illness and mental disorders related to stress (WHO,2006).
  • Feminist sociologists have analysed the ways in which inequalities can seriously affect women (Macionis & Plummer, 2005: 558)
  • Employment combined with family care responsibilities means that women find themselves doing two jobs.
  • Evidence also show that women with small children experience more stress at work compared to women without such responsibilities.


Work-related stress is also due to lack of job security, family-adverse working conditions, low social support, limited possibilities for training and career advancement and inadequate social security pensions.

Intensified when women are also exposed to physical and mental hazards due to violence and abuse at home and psychological and sexual harassment at work.

  • Lack of access to medicines and prevention measures remain a barrier to improved health outcomes.
  • Increasing child mortality. No access to water and sanitation

SSA: HIV/AIDS taking particularly a heavy toll. Women are mostly affected.

  • 2007: Estimated 1.9 million people newly infected with HIV in SSA.

Mauritius: Women increasingly being affected by the problem of HIV/AIDS and drugs.

  • Feminisation of HIV/AIDS – 522 women reported cases and 2547 men out of 3069 in 2007
governance but women in powerful positions are still an exception
Governance But women in powerfulpositions are still an exception…

Chile: M. Bachelet

Finland: T. Halonen

Germany: A. Merkel

Liberia: E. Johnson Sirleaf

Out of 193 heads of state, only 23 are women!

  • Although women make up half of the world’s population, they remain vastly under-represented in governance forums.
  • Governance gender gap.
  • In most countries, there is a clear absence of women involved in decision-making processes at local, regional and national levels.
  • Number of barriers which women confront in getting involved in politics.
  • “When women do participate in governance, there is a greater chance that policies will reflect more closely the needs of all citizens.” (OECD, 2008)

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • 2000: 12 % women in parliament
  • 2004: 13% women in parliament



  • Before 2005: female legislative representation been one of the lowest in the African continent and SADC.
  • Latest election in July 2005: the percentage of women MPs reached was 17.1%. A sharp increase in the number of women from 4 to 12 in the 70-member legislature. (Yoon & Bunwaree: 2008)
sustainable production
Sustainable Production
  • Neo liberalism calls for limited state intervention, privatisation, the demise of the welfare state – has been in the forefront of economic polices in many parts of the developing world in the guise of IMF/World Bank Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs).
  • Feminisation of the labour market v/s feminisation of poverty
sustainable production31
Sustainable Production
  • SSA: informal sector mainly dominated by women – 84% of women’s non-agricultural employment is informal compared to 63% of men’s
  • Women tend to dominate in low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in textiles, clothing, household goods, etc. Exploitation of women. Livelihoods being threatened.
  • Mauritius: Manufacturing Sector (EPZ products): employment of 40,737 women compared to 23,625 men in March 2006 (CSO, March 2007)

Integrate gender issues in designing, planning and implementing policies and also legal framework


  • Incentives to increase female presence in the labour force.
  • Remunerate women’s work on an equal basis
  • Family-friendly practices, greater access to childcare facilities
  • Investing in women’s education, health care and access to jobs are key to poverty reduction
  • Government can increase female access to credit. Micro-credit loans as an effective tool to help prospective women business owners.


  • Increase in female to male enrolment ratio in all levels of education.
  • Guidance and counseling services provided to girls on job prospects.
  • Traditional areas of female work (teaching, nursing, etc) be upgraded.

Health Care

  • Govts need to adopt a gender perspective based on the physical differences of men and women.
  • Gender-specific diseases and reproduction needs are key considerations in health policy.
  • Involving men and women in HIV/AIDS interventions, polices and programmes.
  • Addressing gender issues associated with ageing populations and the disabled.
  • Occupational and safety practices taking into account gender-specific factors


  • Governance with gender lenses
  • Quota system used in many countries to raise the number of women in parliament
  • Greater transparency and more open participation in political processes key to empower women in government.
  • Special training and information programmes to explain the complex legal processes
  • Schemes assisting working parents with time constraints as well as mentoring and networks help to give new roles in political life.

Sustainable Production

  • Govts can promote sustainable corporate production through support to reporting systems and international instruments – frameworks that cover the environmental, social and corporate governance issues.
  • Production in line with environmental, safety and worker rights dimensions.
  • Gender matters in development.
  • Addressing gender inequalities is a real challenge.
  • Changing the mindset of people.
  • Building an inclusive society, geared towards social justice and gender equality
  • Making women’s work more visible.
  • Respond to the needs of both men and women in an equitable manner.
  • Encourage them to participate fully and actively in decision making processes.
  • Institutionalised frameworks put in place and vision be translated into the reality – Mtius: National Gender Policy Framework-to what extent??
  • Kabeer (2003): GMS depends on the partnership between government and other key stakeholders (civil society and private sector)
  • Sustaining gendered, innovative and transformative action is essential in development process.
“Women are central to the entire development process. They are also at the vanguard of social transformation.”

“The emancipation of women is an important part of building markets at the bottom of the pyramid. Empowered, organised, networked and active women are changing the social fabric of society.”

(Prahalad, (2005: 108, 109): The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid)