Gender inequalities remain a major challenge in many parts of the world. In Africa, closing the gender gap could significantly enhance development and sustainable growth. According to the WEF, economic losses due to gender inequalities in labour force participation cost 9% of Africa’s overall GDP growth.
According to a report published by the World Bank and One, the African agricultural sector is still suffering from a deeply-rooted gender gap. The report states that female farmers across many African countries are less productive on average than male farmers. This is due to several factors that restrain women’s productivity in these countries, such as difficulties in women’s access to land, difficulties in gaining access to markets or other challenges such as child care or household responsibilities, that are traditionally considered part of a woman’s domain.
One important reason why closing the gender gap in Africa is of such crucial important, is it’s effect on food security and livelihoods. As an article in the Guardian says:
“The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that if women had the same access to resources worldwide, their yields could increase by up to 30%, which could result in up to 150 million fewer people going hungry.”
(Source: The Guardian)
It is obvious – In order to enable sustainable growth in Africa, the gender gap must be closed. Let’s hope that the increased efforts by policy makers, international institutions and the local communities can make that happen!