Studies have shown that gender diversity pays off in business and in politics for every nation. With particular attention to business, companies with higher percentages of women on corporate boards perform better than those with all-male boards. Indeed the economic case for getting more women into the workforce and more women into top jobs is overwhelming. In general, countries will be able to reach their economic and employment goals only when they make full use of all their human resources. Every country in Africa must make this understanding an essential part of its economic plans. Unfortunately some institutions have overplayed the situation of labor market discontinuity where women take time off to have and nurse babies. They overplay this by even creating denigrating corporate mommy tracks that take women down a slow coach and dead-end path where they may never rise to the top, whether it be in politics, government or business. There is no doubt that cultural biases and social inertia have reinforced the glass ceiling against women. This so called glass ceiling effect is seen in limited occupational upward mobility, outright economic exclusion; poor access to financial systems, limited participation in political and public life; weak access to education and poor retention of girls in schools. The glass ceiling can also be reinforced in more perverse ways, including gender-based violence; harmful cultural practices, and social exclusion. Indeed these kinds of practices are the major standing barriers to achieving gender equality and a faster pace of economic growth across Africa. In Africa, women are key food producers, where according to research they represent more than 43 percent of the agricultural labour force. According to the World Economic Forum, while 90% of the worldâ€™s population has significantly bridged the gap in health outcomes and in educational attainment between women and men, no country has closed the economic participation gap or the political empowerment gap between women and men. As we have already stressed, the most important determinant of a countryâ€™s competitiveness is its human resources which include the skills, education and productivity of its workforce. Therefore since women account for one-half of the potential talent base in any country, it would seem irrational not to see that a nationâ€™s competitiveness hinges on how it educates and utilizes itâ€™s women. Even so, in the final analysis, women have to be strong and powerful in preparation to taking leadership roles. I know many men are ready to provide support, but nothing good comes easy. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that is my view.
Posted: Jun 13th, 2017 @ 09:26:37 AM