Celebrating the Equal Partners
Let us celebrate women and their achievements this Women’s Day.
But let us not forget the challenges. Women in this world, numbering about the same as men, control fewer political and economic resources, including land, employment, and positions of power. Women face hurdles in economic empowerment, education and societal voice. And they face violence.
Out of 195 countries, only 22 have women as Heads of State. One hundred nineteen never had a woman leader. At the current rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years.
Women in senior management roles globally are 29%. The percentage of women holding CEO positions is much lower. Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of Pepsi, explained a reason for this: “….the biological clock and the career clock (of women) are in total conflict with each other.’ The words of this global CEO resonate with millions.
At the same time, women do most of the unpaid work, including childcare, cooking, cleaning, and farming, around the world. Housework is a residual part of women’s work. That takes away a major chunk of their lives.
According to the UN-WOMEN (see the video), if unpaid care work - mostly done by women - is included, countries’ GDP would increase substantially. For example, if unpaid work is included, Tanzania’s GDP would increase by 63%.
Gender issues are multi-dimensional. It requires a multi-dimensional, multi-layered approach response. And, more than that, it needs an absolute resolve.
Happy Women Day.