Lack of women empowerment stagnates progress

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.


Goal Five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims at achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

Although statistics across the world shows that there has been progress over the last decades, the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.

Only two countries, Rwanda and South Africa, are among the world’s top 20 best countries for women, according to the World Economic Forum’s report.

Available evidence shows that women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore half of its potential.

But gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress.

On the average, women in the labour market still earn 23 per cent less than men globally and women spend about three times as many hours in unpaid domestic and care work as men.

Also, sexual violence, exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care, domestic work and discrimination in public office, continue to remain huge barriers.

That is why, on June 17, 2023, the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) and partners launched #WeAreEqual, a year-long unifying campaign that calls for urgent action to advance gender equity and close the gender gap in Africa.

#WeAreEqual focuses on key action areas, including health care, gender-based violence, education and economic empowerment.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the power of gender equity and calls on African leaders to take action now by addressing the root causes of gender inequality and fostering collaboration among diverse partners.

To bring the campaign home, the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, on August 28, 2023 launched the #WeAreEqual campaign in Ghana as part of the strategic measures to fight for gender equality that will enable girls and women to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

Launching the campaign, she said: “The fight for gender equality is an age-old one.

Sadly, it is a fight that has not been won.

Even though the global gender gap has been narrowing, we need a lot more urgency and action to make very significant impact.

When women and girls, representing about half of our society, have equal access to health, education and skills, and are free from gender-based violence, they can contribute their quota to the development of our nation”.

Achieving gender equality is critical to driving social and economic progress for all in building the world that we want.

As a society, we cannot collectively move forward to achieve these goals if we are only lifting one foot off the ground.

The Daily Graphic believes that when women are empowered it results in closing the gender gap and unlocks the full potential of our society, as evidence from around the world has proved that gender equality drives social and economic progress for all.

Through a concerted effort, we can create a future where gender equity is not only a goal, but a lived reality for everyone, transforming societies and building a more just and inclusive world.

The paper also agrees with OAFLAD that everyone has a role to play in bringing attention and urgency to this issue.


Participation and commitment from governments, civil society organisations, international bodies and individuals are critical to advancing gender equity and that driving meaningful change requires continuous advocacy, policy reforms and allocation of resources to address the root causes of gender inequality and create enabling environments for women and girls to thrive.

There is an urgent need for concrete action and policy change to advance gender equity as gender-sensitive and gender-focused policies when implemented with adequate funding and full commitment can contribute to creating more inclusive and equitable societies.

We call for gender-responsive laws that protect and enshrine women’s rights, policies and laws that prioritise gender equity because they are crucial for driving meaningful change.

To ensure fairness, strategies and measures must often be available to compensate for women's historical and social disadvantages that prevent them from otherwise operating on a level playing field.


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