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AfDB participates in International Women’s Day activities in Nigeria
The African Development Bank partnered with the Nigerian Ministry of Women Affairs and several development partners (UN-Women, United Nations Development Program, Oxfam, The European Union, ActionAid, and many others) to celebrate International Women’s Day with a knowledge sharing event held on March 8.
Several presentations were made by experts to set the tone for dialogue in search of proactive, innovative ways of bridging gender gaps in the workplace by creating an enabling environment for women to thrive. The Status of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, creating safe cities, inclusive representation in parliament, expanding livelihood programmes and rapid response to humanitarian crises were topics on the forefront of the day’s discussions.
Speaking at the event, the representative of the AfDB Nigeria Senior Country Director, Baba Abdulai Imoru, assured the group of the Bank’s recognition of the crucial role of women in economic growth and sustainability in Africa as demonstrated in its Gender Strategy and Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022), which places emphasis on gender equality and mainstreaming as a prerequisite for Africa’s economic transformation. He also elaborated on the Bank’s new initiative, Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), which will focus on the gender agenda through capacity development, enabling environment creation, training, mentoring, information and knowledge sharing.
The stakeholders resolved to take affirmative actions in their respective sectors towards the realization of the Planet 50:50 by 2030 pro-women agenda, charging themselves with the responsibility of driving the change, and not just talking about it.
Similarly, in an Op-Ed to mark the International Women’s Day, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina re-affirmed the Bank’s unwavering commitment towards gender equality. “We will be bold in our support for women and inclusiveness of women and girls. Africa’s economic growth will be faster and development outcomes better when we ensure gender equality,” he wrote.
The theme of the 2017 International Women’s Day (IWD), Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030, calls on advocates to Be Bold for Change. Recognizing the evolution of the work environment and the implications for women, while technology and globalization provide unprecedented opportunities, growing informality of labour, income inequality and humanitarian crises pose a threat that cannot be ignored. Only 50% of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76% of men. An overwhelming majority of women are limited to informal sectors, domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection or room for growth. Achieving gender equality in the world of work is imperative for sustainable development.