Accra — African women lag behind men in ownership of assets and are substantially less likely to have decision-making power over household resources, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

These findings from national surveys in 34 countries are part of a soon-to-be-released Pan-Africa Profile analysis based on a special gender-equality survey module carried out by Afrobarometer in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The new report will also examine popular support for gender equality, government performance on women’s rights and opportunities, and persistent gender gaps in education, employment, and access to technology.

Key findings:

– On average across 34 African countries, women are significantly less likely than men to own key assets such as mobile phones (an 11-percentage-point gap compared to men), a radio (18 points), a television (7 points), a bank account (10 points), a car or motorcycle (16 points), and a computer (6 points).

– But ownership patterns vary by country. The average gender gap across these six assets is less than 5 percentage points in Madagascar, Namibia, and Cabo Verde but reaches 27 points in Benin, followed by Mali (24 points) and Burkina Faso (23 points).

– Women are also less likely than men to hold financial decision-making power in the household. Asked who decides how to use money they have or earn, more than half (52%) of male respondents say they make these decisions themselves, compared to 38% of female respondents. Another 40% of women and 38% of men say they decide jointly with their spouse or other family members. One in five women (22%) have no role in deciding how their money will be used, more than twice the number among men (9%).