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Taking the New Partnership for Africa's Development seriously - November 2002

8. Gender equality and opportunity
NEPAD's vision: NEPAD commits African governments to the empowerment of women, to be demonstrated by an increase in income earning power, as a share of professional and managerial jobs, and as a share of parliamentary seats held by women. Where major gender discrepancies exist in life expectancy data, we consider that a key empowerment indicator will be the narrowing of those discrepancies.

NEPAD's failures: We note with regret, however, that NEPAD is lacking in details regarding gender empowerment, and the failure to endorse existing African-initiated action plans, standards and goals - including those of the Africa platform of the 1994 Beijing women's conference - is glaring.

US responsibility: To support these aspirations for gender equality, we note the following indicators for US policy:
  1. The US government will give high priority to development assistance programs, especially through the African Development Foundation, that empower women and support grassroots initiatives.

  2. The US government will seek to address, through development assistance, educational opportunities for girls.

  3. The US government will respect the women-led African initiatives and decisions on issues of family planning, birth control and HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

  4. The US government will support United Nations efforts to advance the rights, skills and leadership of women.

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