As we approach 2030, the deadline for realizing the illustrious targets of the UN SDGs, there is a renewed effort across Board to track and measure the extent of attainment across the globe.
To this effect, I Believe Global organized a webinar as part of its two years anniversary celebrations to track the progress so far in SDG5. Taking on the Presentation on this gracious day was Dr. Felix Addo Yobo. He is the deputy director of SDGs advisory unit, office of the president of Ghana.
IBG’s impeccable Senior Project Manager, Dr. Eric Kwame Adae, together with the Lady President of IBG Lady Richel Lundgren co-hosted the event.
In an overview, Dr. Felix began his presentation with an outline in four parts looking at
He gave a few quotations, to put the whole Gender Equality in a good perspective, below are the quotes
Dr. Felix stated that SDG5 has nine (9) targets and fourteen ( 14 )indicators to help track the progress of implementations, and to which some of the issues are highlighted below
These were identified as critical issues relating to women, but for the sake of the Global agreement, these were the focal points of SDG5.
Many of the other sixteen ( 16 ) SDGs target other Gender issues, that talk about disaggregation.The story really is, he said, before covid struck, Gender issues were not doing that bad. Covid set us back, He furthered on with some climate changes which included
We need to overcome some of the experiences we encountered, over the last two years as a result of the covid, to give us a chance to achieve the SDG5 targets, Dr. Felix Addo Yobo stated.
Just to make sure He’s not accused of plagiarism, Dr . Addo Yobo quoted the main sources of his data.
He began with Child Marriage, which happens to be one of the critical issues. Over the last fifteen (15)years across Africa, there is a decline in child marriages. With Southern Africa not seeing any declination over the past 15 years. The biggest drop, He said, was in Northern Africa which is between 5%.
In summary, the data is obvious, the progress in reducing child marriage in Africa is not encouraging and we need to work hard in this area.
Globally child marriage has declined, smilingly to Africa. However, with the onset of Covid, we have seen a spike in Child marriages, and it’s quite evident in Ghana for instance.
In Africa, there are seven ( 7 ) countries having the figures high. With four (4) of the countries seeing declination, being Burkina Faso, Central Africa, Benin, and South Sudan. Dr. Felix mentioned we need to look at the strategies we adopt to address child marriages and significant reduction in girls subjected to abuse. Female Genital mutilation, a chart provide, female genital mutilation.
The darker the color the higher the prevalence,
Which showed it was pretty high in some parts of Africa.
The highlight is, many areas have no data on Female Genital Mutilation. Average based on the data available may not be telling the real stories., He emphasized.
Moving on, Dr. Felix Addo Yobo mentioned, many countries have legal processes for Female Genital Mutilation, however, the enforcement is pretty low, hence the high prevalence.
Issues relating to women in Managerial positions in Sub Sahara Africa are higher than the world average. Dr. Addo Yobo in his presentation once again stated emphatically, data collection on women occupying managerial positions are very few.
Less than 30% of women are in such positions, which is not encouraging, with the fact that women are 50% more in Africa by a simple proportion. He said the pace of progress is not encouraging, especially, for women in Parliament, local authority, and Board rooms. Data recorded, Rwanda is a shining example where a good number of women are seen in Parliament and also occupying Managerial positions.
Women having the freedom to relationship to their sexual decisions.
Data shows that 90% of women take decisions with the use of contraceptives. Looking at all three
The analysis showed, 47% of these women are able to take decisions on all these three, thus Health and reproductive issues. Pockets of evidence from the covid, response were that incidents of this matter didn’t help, due to restricted movement and loss of jobs, women thereby became very vulnerable.
Information looking at the world average and Sub-Saharan, and also looking at the status of whether there is progress
The Facilitator said the average performance in Africa is moderate, and we have not achieved the target yet. We are in between, nor are we close to the target. Same story for Global shows the average.
It recorded Incomplete data when it comes to sexual violence against girls for some countries, but all countries to compute the others. For child marriages, figures were discussed.
Another one we are far from is unpaid work, citing example is women doing vigorous work at home, doing it on probono. He stated, we have data to show, women do a lot of work but are unpaid.
Highlighting on, is the lack of data to track some of the indicators, and no ample data to track progress across sub-Saharan Africa.
Countries that have systems to track Gender Equality are very far, meaning, few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have a system to track Gender Equality, which bothers on Data collection, Data management, System data production, and uses in these matters.
What are some of the take away from the presentation He said, huge gaps in data which pose significant barriers, to how we access the process of implementation.
The last data analysis showed, we only have 48% of the data to track SDG5, hence we don’t know how well we are doing. For the majority, we don’t have data, as such, the probability of going around in circles is high.
The Covid pandemic gains, showed, that we have eroded some of the gains that we have made over the past 25 years.
The gains have been slow, as compared to how we want.
The Russia, Ukraine war, and its ramifications, climate change issues, have all provided a toxic mix of scenarios that only makes the matter worse, in our fight to achieve Gender equality across Saharan Africa.
In Ghana, the data showed, most females lose their job compared to men, during and after the restrictions were eased, and that really affected women, and their ability to earn income. This made them more dependent on their male counterpart and put them at risk
Without a great commitment from the Global community, achieving Gender equality will remain a pipe dream, and we need to act and invest in women and children..Gender parity is not only good for women but good for society as well, Dr. Addo Yobo said.
■ Way forward
We need to identify all the systematic barriers and practices at all levels, community and, institutional levels. Through policies, we need to make a conscious effort to identify these barriers and eliminate them altogether.
With the slow pace of progress over the past 25yrs in Gender Equality, it is high time we review our strategies and adopt more effective strategies.
A thorough and passionate analysis of why our efforts are not yielding the desired results is for us to make the necessary changes, this is because, if it continues in business the same way, chances are that we will not yield any results. because it’s not effective. He stated some changes needed to be amended, and they are as follows.
Dr. Addo Yobo in his presentation stated, the data shows progress has been slow. This means, approaches are not very effective, so we need to change the cause. Hence innovative ways of mobilizing finances, generating data, and winning more hearts and minds to support the Gender Equity Agenda to give a good chance to succeed
Bringing his Presentation to an end, Dr. Felix said, in our push to achieve Gender Equality, it is risky to leave the boys and men behind. We must carry them along. Let’s not put them at a disadvantage, in so doing we achieve undisputed Gender Equity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The next session saw attendants taking turns in asking questions about the Presentation, spearheaded by the Moderator, Dr. Eric Kwame Adae.
Vote of thanks by the Lady President Rachel Lundgren of IBG. After which the Webinar was brought to a close.
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