Gender, Unpaid Care and Social Protection: Policy Priorities for West and Central Africa

Mutually reinforcing internal and external factors pose unique challenges to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in West and Central Africa. Constraints specific to the region include discriminatory social institutions, a stalled fertility transition, limited decent job opportunities, fragility / conflict, and constrained fiscal space and institutional capacity. Systemic factors include multiple, overlapping crises, from climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic to the cost of living. This situation calls for innovative, integrated approaches to advance gender equality and climate action while tackling the drudgery of domestic work and women’s time poverty. Such approaches ought to target the nexus of climate change, fragility, gender-based violence and gender (in)equality.