Promote gender equality, UNDP tells African countries

Gender disparity among men and women in Africa has been high as a result of economic instability in the continent. This was revealed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) during the release of its annual report.

“Gender equality is a good thing, in it’s own right and that’s the right thing to do but often it’s not till you start talking economics that people think my goodness it has implications and we don’t do something about this,” said Helen Clark, UNDP administrator in Nairobi, Kenya.

The shortfall could be estimated to be close to $95 billion per year despite the share of active women remaining high in Africa. 60% of them are working, but are under-paid and often depend on the informal sector for survival.

“Women’s empowerment and gender equality are the silver bullets in development, because if you can ensure that the female half of the population is able to participate equally and make their full contribution, you are really going to accelerate development and that’s the message of the Human Development report. That African development will speed up faster if gender equality is achieved;” said Helen.

The United Nations development program calls for the continent to take proper measures by ensuring that all women have access to education. It further said that women should be subjected to promotions at work giving an example of Rwanda that has adhered to gender equality.