Sub-Saharan Africa

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Regional Report for sub-Saharan Africa offers an in-depth analysis of the region’s progress towards gender equality. The Report highlights the stark challenges that women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa face to overcoming entrenched gender discrimination in areas such as land rights and violence as well as areas where they have seen unprecedented progress, such as in political voice and comprehensive efforts to reduce rates of early marriage. This Report presents new evidence that can help the region’s countries achieve the ambitious aspirations laid out in the twin development agendas of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The sub-Saharan Africa Regional Report draws on SIGI’s 14 variables that measure gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws. The Regional Report reveals both the heterogeneity between countries and issues that affect women across the region such as violence against women. The report is divided into three sections: a regional overview of progress and remaining challenges to achieving gender equality; an economic analysis of the development cost of discriminatory social institutions for the region; and an in-depth analysis of the region’s performance in the five SIGI sub-indices: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets and restricted civil liberties.

Sahel and West Africa

The 2018 paper Gender Inequality in West African Social Institutions analyses discriminatory social institutions restricting women’s rights and empowerment opportunities across 17 West African countries. New laws and measures to protect and promote women’s economic, political and human rights have been accompanied by impressive reductions in gender gaps. However, discriminatory social institutions still constitute significant impediments to women’s access to land assets and restrict women’s physical integrity and decision-making power in both private and public spheres. This holds back women’s education and economic empowerment, thereby decreasing countries’ potential growth. The data and analysis based on the OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) aims to provide policy makers with the necessary tools and evidence to design more effective gender-responsive policies. Putting social institutions at the core of policy responses may open new and sustainable vistas to promote gender equality in national and regional development agendas.