Empowering Africa’s women is the key to economic wealth

One headline after another has hailed Africa’s dramatic economic growth at a time when the global economic picture has darkened. Sub-Saharan African economies have outperformed many in the world for the past decade, and average growth is expected to rise to 6% in 2014.

Africa’s situation is, of course, far more complicated than enthusiastic press coverage might suggest, and no single narrative can encapsulate the enormous challenges and disparities we face.

The key question is whether or not Africa’s economic growth can be sustained when so much of it is based on extractive resources? And also whether it can make a significant dent in the inequality that still leaves so many people in Africa far behind? The answer is a qualified ‘yes’; we can have inclusive and sustainable growth – but only if we build the African economy on a solid foundation, and that foundation requires the unleashing of the tamped down energy, resourcefulness and power of Africa’s women and girls.

Women and girls are Africa’s greatest untapped resource, and it is they, not diamonds or oil and minerals, that will be the foundation for solid, sustainable and equitable progress.

Argumentative Persuasive Essay Examples Women and girls are Africa’s greatest untapped resource, and it is they, not diamonds or oil and minerals, that will be the foundation for solid, sustainable and equitable progress. Health and development experts, economists, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies and even banks agree that expanding the freedoms, the education and opportunities for women holds the key to kick-starting inclusive economic growth. This is true the world over, and particularly true for Africa.

Buy Book Report On My Book Let’s start with agriculture. Food security and self-sufficiency is essential for the still largely rural African continent, where women are half the agricultural workforce. They are intimately involved in all aspects of food and nutrition: growing, selling, buying and preparing food for their families. They manage this, along with their unpaid work of raising children and caring for their families, in spite of discriminatory laws and practices that restrict their access to land, property, inheritance, credit, technology and decision-making. And also despite disparities in girls’ education and in defiance of gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health challenges that affect them so disproportionately.

Imagine what these millions of African women and girls could accomplish if their full capacity were unleashed, if barriers to education, health, rights, decision-making and full participation were removed. Women are at the very centre of sustainable development. When empowered, they can produce a cascade of positive changes, with benefits that go beyond simple economic growth. Studies show that women invest their earnings in the well-being of their children to a far greater extent than do men. Their empowerment therefore tends to have an inter-generational impact on health and education that benefits societies for generations to come, while bolstering the much-needed human capital that countries need to overcome poverty and social exclusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *