This article examines the role of women in economic and political development, attempts made by women to overcome their socio-economic and political underdevelopment and marginalization, and the role of the intemational community in addressing these issues. It begins by arguing that although women play a very important role in development, their status in African countries does not reflect their contributions. Therefore, enhancing this status would not only go a long way toward overcoming population and food production problems, but it would also help boast economic growth and development. The key to accomplishing womens status is to ensure that women have greater influence on social, economic and political status, particularly in the areas that affect them most. Achieving this goal will require the collective action of women from the grassroots to the national and international levels as well as overcoming gender stereotypes and institutional discrimination.