Ethiopia: AU gender Summit proposes economic empowerment measures

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – The African Union (AU) High-Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment has proposed measures to empower women and the youth economically through enhanced access to government contracts, equal employment chances and bank credit.

The Ministers in charge of Gender, Youth and Social Services drawn from the AU member states attending a meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, have presented proposals on how to improve the welfare of women, girls and the youth in general by revising government policies in their favour.

Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who represented at the Gender Summit, 29-30 June, 2017, said granting men and women equal access to jobs would lift the global economy by up to US$28 billion.

The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment has been discussing measures to improve women’s economic welfare.

The Panel proposes guaranteed share of government contracts to marginalised groups, women and girls, ending domestic violence and respect to all global treaties on women protection.

Hassan said allowing flexibility in the job market and liberalizing trade would also impact positively on the ability of women and girls to access jobs and improve their financial capabilities.

The UN Secretary-General’s Panel, in its report released in April this year, proposed measures, including a change in the corporate cultures, which tend to limit the number of women holding senior board membership positions, ensuring access to finance and improving women’s participation in technologies.

Women are particularly affected by the unpaid labour and their participation in home care and other non-income earning undertakings, which the High-Level Panel wants revised. Women are also the main actors in agriculture, women-owned businesses and also have formal sector jobs.

However, these opportunities appear not to favour women as much as possible compared to men.

Delegates attending the Addis Ababa Gender Summit said  experience in countries such as Tunisia, showed women were the majority of candidates at national universities and other academic institutions although access to learning facilities has not contributed to the narrowing of the gender economic gaps.

The Gender Summit is urging countries to embrace the example of countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, which have taken measures to grant access to women and people with disabilities preferential access to government procurement by making provisions for local content and the quantity of supplies.

Hassan, the Tanzanian Vice President, said women should also be provided with additional training.

To contribute to the successful implementation of the AU gender Roadmap, which is set to be tabled to the 29th session of the AU Heads of State and Government Assembly, known as the Summit, the Addis Ababa gender meeting has also proposed measures such as funding and access to economic resources.

These economic resources include access to the labour markets, land and the access to bank loans and other affordable sources of finance, to effectively empower the women.
-0- PANA AO/MA 30June2017

30 june 2017 08:24:00

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