GENDER EQUALITY AND EXTREME POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Keywords:gender equality, women empowerment, equity, extreme poverty alleviation, subSaharan Africa
This article assesses the link between the four pillars of gender equality and extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Accordingly, the objective of the paper is to empirically examine whether the four pillars of gender equality, namely women’s health, women education, political participation of women and economic participation facilitate extreme poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. Data were collected from the World Bank development indicators and World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index for 25 sub-Saharan African countries whose data appear on both indexes for three years into the SDGs era. Th e paper applied a quantitative approach with secondary data on poverty gap index drawn from the World Economic Forum Poverty Gap Index for sub-Saharan Africa. Data for twenty-fi ve sub-Saharan African countries were analysed using the fi xed-eff ect panel data regression approach using the Hauseman model selection test. Findings from the analysis indicate that, ceteris paribus, an increase in the threegender equity variables namely economic participation of women, education of women and political participation and leadership of women in sub-Saharan Africa has a signifi cant potential to reduce extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa within the sample of study. Since the fi ndings of this study have shown that extreme poverty can be reduced through increased women participation in economic activity, education and leadership, the SDG of poverty alleviation can be improved in sub-Saharan Africa through better government provision of economic, educational and leadership opportunities for women such as providing women with free-interest small business start-up funds, free education for women and supporting women to ascend and survive in political and leadership positions in sub-Saharan Africa through a balanced quota for female leadership positions. Given that the women’s health variable did not prove to be signifi cant on extreme poverty, further research is recommended to separate the health variable into rural health and urban health variables in order to examine the possibility that either of the health clusters might contribute signifi cantly to reducing extreme poverty. Th is paper contributes to existing literature by providing an empirical evidence to show that gender equality in sub-Saharan Africa is a viable policy strategy for achieving the SDGs 2030 Agenda of extreme poverty eradication in sub-Saharan Africa; the paper also provides empirical model for future study.
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