Africa could take 140 years to achieve gender parity, a report reveals


Africa could take 140 years to achieve gender parity, a report reveals
An illustration of the gender pay gap.

It could take 140 years to achieve gender parity, a report has revealed.

According to Mckinsey Global Institute,  the current pace of gender equality reforms is slow with only a few countries in the continent making progress.

”Overall the gap between men and women in Africa in both society and the world of work remains high,” the study reveals.

Currently, women form the majority, more than 50% of Africa’s population, but only contributed 33% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

These numbers, the Mckinsley report argues, mean that Africa is denying itself the opportunity to grow its economy by failing to advance gender equality.

”We believe that by addressing gender inequality, we could add 300 billion to Africa’s economy,” Lohini Moodley, a partner at the Institute says adding that the increase could be achieved by 2025 but progress has stalled.

This year, Africa scored 0.58 out of a possible 1.00 in Mckinsey’s Gender Parity Score (GPS), a score that has been stagnant since 2015.

Individual countries, despite their varying performances, have shown a general decline or stagnation in their GPS with only a few countries making marginal progress.

Most of them have been rated to have high inequality with a few cases of Extremely high inequality.

Kenya for instance lies in the high inequality grouping with a score of 0.62, tying with its neighbors Uganda and Tanzania.

Other countries in the same category with scores between 0.50 and 0.73 include Rwanda, Ethiopia, Botswana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Ghana with Namibia leading the pack at a 0.72 score.

South Africa is the only African country that has entered the medium inequality category with a score of 0.76 with Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, all West African countries scoring below 0.50 meaning that they are in the extremely high inequality category.

To catalyse progress, Mckinsley suggests that African governments make efforts to invest in human capital, create economic opportunities and tap into the ever advancing technology.

They also suggest that the countries also enact and effect policies and laws that support the progress together with working to influence the attitude of the African public on the subject.

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Story By Duncan Mutwiri
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