Gender and Social Security Reform in Africa



As a result of pressures from structural adjustment policies, persistent poverty and slow economic growth in most African countries, there is widespread reform of formal social security systems in the region. The designs for reform have ignored gender concerns and non-formal social security systems, yet it is widely known that women and men have different experiences in the labour market and that non-formal systems are currently the main source of social security for most women and men, especially in rural communities. The paper points out the efficiency and equity costs of ignoring gender and non-formal social security systems and proposes action for policymakers.