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Gender inequality behind USD 160 trillion in economic losses

Gender inequality behind USD 160 trillion in economic losses

77 percent Ethiopian employers said to favor men over women

Speaking at the Global Health 50/50 report launched on Thursday, Vera Songwe (PhD), executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)said that the gender inequality and gaps globally have caused an economic loss of USD 160 trillion.

According to Songwe, despite improvements in the healthcare sector where women have secured some positions in leaderships and representations, in a wider scene, many are still challenged to have equal pay, equal opportunities for leadership in higher offices of politics and businesses.

The executive secretary noted that there is a 58 percent gender gap manifested globally, and reducing inequalities and gaps will be a tougher job as she cited the World Economic Forum (WEF) figures.She said that it will take some 217 years adding, Africa alone would need 102 years until it assures gender equality across the board.

The Global Health report dubbed “towards gender equality in global health,” which highlighted how women are still challenged by inequalities, foundout that some 200 organizations approached by the researchers of the report, showing pay gaps for equal qualifications and positions. For instance, in many of the 200 organizations, women received 13.5 percent lower than the median salary paid for men. In many of the organizations, 72 percent of the executive heads are found to be men.

During a discussion session, FitsumArega, ambassador to the US cited a study the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) conducted in Ethiopia that, some 77 percent of hiring firms were found to be inclined to favor men employees than women for the same qualifications and skills required.

Globally, numerous rights campaigns and movements have been staged for years. The influence of social media helped for the widespread outreach and call for equal rights. #meetoo, #Shetoo, #timesup and the likes have helped to speared awareness campaigns against sexual violence and all forms of abuse against women.

President SahleworkZewde, while addressing the audience and launching the report said that African countries though signatories of global human rights accords, many still fail to protect the rights of women. She noted that the Maputo Declaration, to which all African countries have agreed to combat all forms of gender based discriminations and violations; however, many countries have not yet ratified the protocol.

Since sexual discriminations and domestic violence are quite common in many parts of Africa, some countries are coming up with different initiatives to fight against discriminations.

According to recent reports, women in Uganda as in many parts of the continent face systemic gender discrimination and moral bias. But through smart approaches like a USD 6 sex tax against lazy husbands.Now some wives are able to gain regular financial livelihood for themselves and their children. These sorts of ideas are now gaining momentum while the world kept commemorating March 8 as the international women’s day.