Gender equality has a huge business and economical case for countries but we need to stop talking about it and start acting, this is according to senior Vice President of the United Nations Foundation, Natalie Africa.
It remains a challenge on the continent but as Africa reminds us, the UN member states met last year and adopted the 17 sustainable development goals, which are meant to transform the world by 2030.
“At the centre of the sustainable development goals in gender equality because we won’t achieve the gains that we want to make, economically, socially or when it comes to the environment, if we don’t count on women,” said Africa.
“It’s not just a good thing to do, there is a huge business and economic case for it – countries can reap such huge benefits.”
As the UN Foundation it really sees the sustainable development goals as an agenda to transform the world through gender equality she says but worries that not enough is being done.
Africa uses an example from Kenya, where a bill was put through where it suggested that all political party’s aim for a 30 per cent quota of women in parliament but that was not accepted.
“We keep talking about it, we throw out the numbers yet are people really taking it seriously? That is why we love Rwanda, because they have made it their goal to make Rwanda a country that is performant for women.”
However while sitting with some Rwandan women she found they are not satisfied, they don’t think enough is being done, especially for women’s economic empowerment in rural areas.
“The private sector has a huge role to play as important as, if not more, than government – it should set the trends in terms of policy, in terms of the enabling environment,” she said.
She adds: “The private sector is where the majority of jobs are this is where job creation is, they can use technology, innovation to do things in ways that are new and different.”