In this article, we identify African countries with a similar development level based on selected women’s development indicators. To assess the development levels, we used the following indicators: i) economic participation and opportunity, ii) leadership, iii) educational attainment, iv) health and survival, v) rights and norms related indicators, vi) childbearing, vii) childcare, and viii) political empowerment. The methodologies applied in this study include principal components analysis and cluster analysis. We test two hypotheses concerning the relative development of women throughout the continent of Africa. The first hypothesis tests that whether African countries could be divided into core and periphery groups based on their achievements in terms of women’s relative development. The second hypothesis tests if the North African countries are in a different position in terms of women’s development in comparison to their Sub-Saharan counterparts. While empirical results support the first hypothesis, the results do not support the second hypothesis. We argue that Core countries are in a better situation in terms of women’s relative development than that of the periphery countries. Both these two groups include countries from North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, thus contesting the idea that women in North-African countries might fare well than the women in the south of the Sahara. While we acknowledge the intra-group diversities of communities, women, and countries throughout Africa, the originality of this article is that it shows the proximity of the development situation of women in comparison to women, instead of men. The article, however, does not aim to explain the reasons behind the similarities or differences in the levels of development between the core and periphery countries.

Author Biography

Masreka Khan is a Lecturer of Economic Development and International Economics at Erciyes University. In addition to teaching, she is working as a researcher at the African Economic and Social Research Centre (AFESAM). Since 2016, she has been serving in the executive board of directors of Women’s Studies Research and Implementation Centre in the same university. She has extensive experiences in the international development sector. Her former positions include Technical Manager- Research, Monitoring and Evaluation for multi-country projects at CARE Bangladesh and Researcher at East London Fawcett Society, UK. She is educated in LSE, Britain and Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Her research interests focus on the dynamics of inequalities, issues surroundings labor market participation, livelihoods strategies in geographically challenging contexts, globalization and poverty considering gender and race. Email: mkhan@erciyes.edu.tr

Hayriye Atik is a Professor of Economic Development and International Economics. She was educated at Erciyes University, Turkey and Coventry University, UK. She has been working at Erciyes University since 1989 in the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences. Between 2001 to 2004 she served as a vice-dean and from 2008-2016 as the head of the Economics department in the same faculty. She is the co-author of some of the most widely read Turkish academic books including The European Union, the Customs Union and Turkey (5th edition in 2015); Information Society, Information Economy and Turkey (2002), Modern Foreign Trade Theories (2011). Her most recent publication includes Economic Development and the Earnings of Women: An Empirical Analysis for Turkish Regions (2017). She teaches International Economics, Economic Integration and the European Union, Energy Economics, Information Economy.