Gender equality mainstreaming: Implications for poverty reduction and sustainable development in Abia State of Nigeria
Gender mainstreaming is a process to achieve greater gender equality and reduce the marginalization of women. Unequal gender relations distribute the burden of poverty disproportionately on women. This probably perpetuates poverty among women and girls. There is an urgent need to address the unequal relations both as a cause and intensification of poverty. Empowerment of women when pursued beyond mere rhetoric and instrumentation, it will improve their wellbeing, self esteem, resource allocation, political voice and increased productivity generally. The objective of this paper is to critically assess the extent to which gender has been mainstreamed into the development programmes, making women and men needs, concerns and experiences an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes. To do this, the paper adopted the descriptive method to evaluate the problems of gender inequality and prospects of engendering to realize development objectives. The paper observed that the prevalence of harmful and discriminatory gender-based cultural practices acts as casual factors to worsening poverty situations; that gender inequality causes and perpetuates poverty and vulnerability, especially for women; that greater gender equality can help to reduce poverty and vulnerability and contribute to pro-poor growth. The paper concludes that gender equality when mainstreamed into local situations, women.s and men.s needs, concerns and experiences will become an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of poverty reduction programmes in all social and economic spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated .
Keywords: Gender Equality Mainstreaming, Poverty Reduction, Sustainable Development.