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Empowering African Women to Shape the Continent's Future

It has long been understood that when women have more say in their own social and economic choices, their well-being and that of their households and communities improves. But which programs to empower women are the most important, and how can more women access them?

NAIROBI – With the right opportunities, women can play a critical role in the social and economic development of Africa. But what interventions are most effective at empowering more African women to seize such opportunities?

When women have more say in their own social and economic choices, their well-being and that of their households and communities improves. Their families show progress on nearly all development indicators.

For example, a study by the African Economic Research Consortium in Kenya examining the impact of policies to empower women on household nutritional outcomes found that the percentage of underweight children under five years old dropped from 19% to 12% between 2003 and 2014. In Nigeria, a survey of farming households revealed that gender parity significantly reduced household food insecurity. And an analysis of data from nine African countries linked women’s empowerment with improvements in children’s cognitive development, growth, and nutrition.

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