Background Paper on Poverty issues on African Women

Poverty is a real issue that is still much among many women living in Africa. Although there has been a lot upgrading over the past years, women are still earning low income compared to men. Gender inequalities in the African society have resulted to women being undermined or denied opportunities in the society that can help them advance their living standards. The woman’s role among many African communities is seen as of depending on the men while they stay at homes and take care of children.

Poor government policies have also contributed to poverty among the women. Women receive low quality or no formal education. Low percentage of women is experienced in the white color jobs and good income generating businesses. At times women have to leave their jobs to look after their children.  Some companies do not even give them maternity leave when they are pregnant.

The number of single mothers is on the rise over the last twenty years. Single- mothers who have dependent children have shown the highest rate of poverty. This is because of the high demand made by the children who solely depend on them for food, shelter, clothes, education among many others.

The global financial crisis has affected women. In many African countries where women work in industries in export, their jobs were greatly hit. Some work fields has being viewed as belonging to men and this hinders women from getting into those jobs. Women in Africa have being discriminated major production, like owning of property like land or cattle. Customs and law in some parts of Africa hampers women from earning income. There is also no law that protects women in times of divorce or inheritance. The African countries has not made comprehensive attempt to handle and address poverty. The existing policies remain insufficient to reconcile the entire issue.

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