African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 400

Full Length Research Paper

Towards institutionalizing gender equality in Africa: How effective are the global gender summits and convention? A critique

Luke Amadi
  • Luke Amadi
  • Educational Support and Development Initiative for the Less Privileged (ESDIL)
  • Google Scholar
Cajetan Amadi
  • Cajetan Amadi
  • Department of Educational Psychology, Guidance and Counselling University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 11 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 11 November 2014
  •  Published: 31 January 2015


In the neo liberal order, gender equality discourse has had a renewed impetus following the post global gender summits and conventions inspired by options to enlarge the participation of women in governance and decision making processes such as the Beijing 35% affirmative action. However, decades on, institutionalizing gender equality in the periphery societies such as Africa has been elusive. This paper explores some prevailing dimensions of inequality and efforts at women emancipation and transformation to understand the verity of the summits and their resolutions. It deploys historical approach based on secondary data sources to provide brief genealogical mapping of some global gender conventions and summits namely; the first World Conference on Women held in Mexico City, 1975, the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Second World Conference on Women held in Copenhagen 1980, World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women 1985, the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, Goal three (3) of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2000 etc. Results from the findings suggest that women are still marginalised, evidences were provided within health, educational, cultural, political and socio-economic dimensions. The paper calls for mainstreaming gender in top political offices across Africa to redefine women’s status and force a concomitant transformation.


Key words: Gender inequality, sustainable development, global gender summits/ conventions, Africa.