Gender: ILO study says more women needed at top management positions in Africa

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Despite some concrete affirmative action measures, African women are still under-represented in top decision-making roles in the continent, according to tes a new study by the ILO Bureau for Employers’ Activities.

Women increased their share of management jobs during the last decade in six countries – Botswana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa – while there was a slight decline in Ethiopia and a significant decline in Uganda

However, according to 'Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum' report, released Monday, there is a lack of available statistics in most African countries on women CEOs.

In South Africa the Annual Women in Leadership Census conducted by the South African Business Women’s Association found that women’s share of CEOs in 2012 was 3.6 percent, which was the same as for 2009 and represented a decline from 4.4 percent in 2011.

In Lagos state, Nigeria’s largest commercial hub, the private sector participation of women as directors and in Leadership Census 2011 and 2012. in top management has been reported for 2006 as 8.1 percent and 13.1 percent respectively.

In Cameroon, a survey of 93,969 enterprises indicated that while 27 percent of their employees were women only 10 percent had a female manager and it is “rare to find a female CEO of a large company.”

In the Middle East and North Africa, women increased their share of management jobs by a few percentage points in five of the nine countries for which data were available over time during the last decade. In four countries, the proportion of women in management decreased.

In Kenya, women hold 44, or 9.5 percent, of the 462 board seats of the 55 companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). Twenty-three of the companies – less than half – have women directors, and those with female board members are majority-owned by multinationals.

A 2004 study on “Gender Equality at Board Decision Level in Mauritius” revealed that 23 percent of women are represented on Mauritian Public Boards (excluding state-owned companies) versus 19 percent in the private sector.

A document of the Gender Monitoring Office in Rwanda “Gender Baseline and key indicators in four sectors: Decision Making, Agriculture, Infrastructure, and Private Sector, 2011” indicated that women were 12.5 percent of private sector company board members.

In South Africa, the proportion of board directors of 309 public companies and 20 state owned enterprises who were women increased, from 7.1 percent in 2004 to 17.1 percent in 2012. The proportion of board directors was higher at 34.3 percent for state owned enterprises.

For the latest years for which data were available, the proportion of women who were employers in Africa ranged from a high of 46 percent in Liberia, followed by 36 percent in Botswana and Namibia and 34 percent in Rwanda, to a low of 12 percent in Mauritius and 14 percent in Ethiopia. The average for the 18 countries in Africa for which data were available was 23 percent.

Countries in the African region with the highest percentage of firms with a woman among the principal owners are Cote d’Ivoire (61.9 per cent), Mali (58 per cent), Angola (56.6 per cent) and Zimbabwe (56.2). Madagascar, Liberia, Botswana and Central African Republic all have above 50 percent.

The countries with the lowest percentage of firms with female ownership are Eritrea at 4.2 percent and Sierra Leone at 7.9 percent. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea, Lesotho, Mauritius, Niger and Mauritania ranged between 15 and 20 percent.
"Getting more women to grow their businesses is not only critical for equality but also for national development," underlined the report.

In Morocco, the Code of Good Practice on Corporate Governance (March 2008) states that management boards should be composed of members who, among other qualities, should provide diversity – training, professional experience, gender balance, age, and nationality.

In Nigeria, women occupy 15 percent of board seats in commercial banks, according to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) statistics. Through the Banker’s Committee, the CBN has set a mandatory requirement and developed a three-year programme to empower women bankers in the financial system.

In Lesotho, the Local Government Act of 2005 reserves 30 percent of the seats in local councils for women. As a result of this decision, Lesotho has achieved 58 percent women’s representation on local councils. In addition, 32 percent of cabinet ministers are women.

In Rwanda, of the 80 members of the chamber of deputies, 53 are directly elected and 27 indirectly elected. Of the indirectly elected members, 24 must be women elected by electoral colleges from each Province and the City of Kigali. In the Senate, 30 percent of the 26 members must be women.

In Sudan, 24 percent of seats are reserved for women in the lower house while in Somalia, 30 percent of seats are reserved for women. Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda all have legislated quotas for women in parliament.

The report highlighted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender and Development Protocol adopted in 2008 potentially could have an effect on the private sector in the 15 SADC countries, as it requires affirmative action measures to eliminate all barriers preventing women from participating fully in all spheres of life and to create a conducive environment for such participation.

By early 2013 two thirds of the members had ratified the protocol bringing it into force. Gender equity targets set out by the protocol include the achievement of 50 percent representation by women and men in politics and decision-making in the public and private sectors by 2015.
-0- PANA AR 12Jan2015

12 january 2015 19:27:29

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