Where global meets local

The politics of Africa’s emergent gender equality regime

Authored by: Toni Haastrup

Handbook of Africa’s International Relations

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436334
eBook ISBN: 9780203803929
Adobe ISBN:


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In 2010, African leaders declared 2010–20 the ‘African Women’s Decade: Grassroots Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’, with the commitment to promote women’s rights and gender equality within African states. Taken together with the African Union’s 2004 Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, 1 there is the clear sense that gender equality is integral to Africa’s regional and international politics. This singular declaration is important to understanding the evolution of how Africa understands gender—that is, the social construction of the roles and relations of and between male and females, 2 and consequently the prospects for equality on the continent. Legally binding on all African Union (AU) member states, the Solemn Declaration also commits the AU internationally to observing and promoting established norms of gender equality within the global political arena.

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