The Word Bank Group (WBG), launching its “Ethiopia Diagnostic Report” on gender gap, found out that Ethiopia is forgoing an estimated USD 3.7 billion in economic cost, annually, in the form of agriculture and business earnings and employment wages.
Launching the Gender Gap Report on Wednesday morning, Caroline Turk, WBG’s country director for Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan, said that the economic cost that Ethiopia sustains is indicative of the work required to address the gender gap within the economic system.
According to Niklas Buehren, coauthor of the report and economist with the WBG, the annual cost incurred due to gender gap in agricultural productivity is estimated to be USD 1.1 billion, 1.4 percent of the total GDP. That shows, “women lag behind men by 36 percent in agricultural productivity,” the report shows. The gap in business revenues also shows that women lag behind their male counterparts by 79 percent in Ethiopia; while the gap in wage employment sector (wages estimated on hourly basis) is around 44 percent.
When it comes to entrepreneurial or business sales, it is estimated that the gap entails USD 1.1 billion or 1.4 percent of the GDP in economic cost.
Some USD 1.5 billion in economic cost is considered to be the loss in wage based employment sector, accounting for 1.9 percent of the entire economy, in general.
Experts, therefore, suggest Ethiopia should device a “gender innovation policy initiative,” a first of its kind both continentally and globally to be introduced for Ethiopia.
While experts have discussed the state of gender gap in Ethiopia and its economic impact, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu (PhD), vice president of the WBG for equity in growth, finance and institutions, is in town for a three-day work visit. The vice president has arrived on Tuesday and is scheduled to visit Bole-Lemi Industrial Park and the Modjo Dry Port, which the Bank provided financing for. These two projects altogether had received USD 400 million in financing. Bole-Lemin has received USD 250 million and Modjo Dry Port- a facility serving as a container terminal- also received financing in order of USD 150 million in order to purchase modern machineries to lift both bulk goods and containers, efficiently.