Gender inequality costs Africa US$95b
THE UN has urged African nations to close a gender gap that is costing an estimated US$95 billion a year in lost economic potential.
“Where there are high levels of gender inequality, societies are missing out,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) director Helen Clark said.
“They are not harnessing the full potential of women, and that costs economically, at the family level, community level and national level.”
Citing agriculture as an example, Ms Clark said that in many African nations, women are banned from owning or inheriting land, making it hard for them to borrow money.
“They then don’t have the finance to buy the best seeds, the best fertilisers. So women, despite working very, very hard, end up producing less, being less productive,” she said.
Ms Clark, a former New Zealand prime minister, noted the progress made in some nations, including in Rwanda, where 65 percent of elected MPs are female. –