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: 389

Full Length Research Paper

The new partnership for Africa’s development (NEPAD) policy on women empowerment in Africa: A critical appraisal

  Mahmudat Olawunmi Muhibbu-Din
Department of Political Science and Public Administration, College of Management and Social Sciences, Fountain University, P. M. B. 4491, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 November 2010
  •  Published: 31 January 2011



The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a new continent-wide development strategy targeted at halting poverty in Africa in the twenty-first century. The NEPAD policy initiators seek to promote the roles of women in all activities as one of its long term goal of developing Africa through various strategies spelt out under International Development Goal by promoting income generating avenue that can enhance the status of women. This paper therefore examines: (i) the feminist theoretical framework of the policy document, (ii) the extent its bolsters women economic roles, (iii) the degree it expands the political space in a way to facilitates greater women participation, and (iv) the social status of women in Africa by addressing the injustices and oppression women suffer. Content analysis is used in appraising the NEPAD policy document while data collection method is based on secondary sources which include journals, textbooks, seminar paper presentation, policy documents, monographs and internet. NEPAD policy design, planning and implementation has neither been inclusive nor participatory of the views, perspectives, yearnings and aspiration of women. It does not address women problem in a way that can facilitate women empowerment. Conclusively, NEPAD needs to shift it policy position to truly address the problem of women oppression, and embark on greater advocacy to ensure better participation and inclusiveness in the policy formulation and implementation process in a way that is responsive to gender imperative. NEPAD policy must be a product of the people, and must shift from the top-down approach to a bottom-up approach to be truly inclusive and facilitative of social transformation.


Key words: NEPAD, women empowerment, gender, feminism, development policy.