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Even as gender inequalities remain a concern in African labor markets despite variations from one country to another, a new book published by the World Bank shows. The book, Gender Disparities in Africa’s Labor Market, reveals that overall there is a 17 percentage-point difference between the labor force participation rate for men (78.3 percent) and women (61 percent).
The study analyses household survey data collected in the early 2000s in 18 countries across Africa, looking into gender dimensions in employment, unemployment, pay gap, as well as the role of educational attainment.
As Africans we need to participate in dialogue that is giving structure and reformation to youth unemployment and also spend more time on investing in human capital and youth education. More graduates are flooding the job market and are unemployed.
In Africa, education not only has a favorable effect on earnings, but also a positive impact on gender wage equity. The higher the educational level, the lower the incidence of low-paid jobs,”
The highest gender unemployment gaps is found in Northern Africa and the Arab States with the female youth unemployment rate is almost double that of young men, reaching as high as 44.3 and 44.1 per cent, respectively.
In developing economies, women in employment spend 9 hours and 20 minutes in paid and unpaid work, whereas men spend 8 hours and 7 minutes in such work. The unbalanced share of unpaid work limits women’s capacity to increase their hours in paid, formal and wage and salaried work.
Achieving gender equality at work, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is an essential precondition for realizing sustainable development that leaves no one behind and ensures that the future of work is decent work for all women and men,”
In respect to this, Policy Responses by ILO (International Labor Organization) through the ILO theme for International Women’s Day in 2016 states that, “Getting to Equal by 2030: The Future is Now”,
Although, Progress has been made in recent years toward understanding the complexities of decent jobs and gender equality and how to promote them. The ILO will prioritize focusing on key areas to support opportunities for gender equality:
• An integrated framework of transformative measures with the support to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Goals through ILO conventions and recommendations
• Tackling sectorial and occupational segregation by promoting affirmative action
• Closing the gender wage gap by eliminating outright discrimination and embracing the principle of equal opportunity.
• Promoting policies that reduce barriers preventing women from starting and developing their businesses to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs.
• Achieving harmonization between work and family life by recognizing, reducing and redistributing unpaid care work through the promotion of decent and adequately paid jobs in the care economy.
“Achieving gender equality at work, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is an essential precondition for realizing sustainable development that leaves no one behind and ensures that the future of work is decent work for all women and men.
Had African countries with lower relative female-to-male participation rates in 2018 had the same rates as advanced countries, the continent would have gained an additional 44 million women actively participating in its labor markets.
This is year 2020 and we are just some decades away to having a sustainable gender equality labor market in Africa. Do you think we have made progress so far in changing this narrative?.
What are your critical thoughts on how to curb the dire growth of unemployment and gender imbalance in Africa Labor market?