WAMDEVIN Calls On African Leaders To Promote Gender Equality 

WAMDEVIN challenges African leaders on gender equality - Champion  Newspapers LTD

Yemisi Izuora

The West African Management Development and Training Institutions Network (WAMDEVIN) has called on African leaders to implement context-specific, multiple-track gender strategies that would advance gender equality and women’s empowerment within specific sectors of their economy.

Speaking during a webinar seminar with the theme: Mainstreaming gender into development towards realisation of agenda 2030: The role of Melellium Development Institutions (MDIs), WAMDEVIN President, Prof. Alexander Yonly, noted that that, multiple-track strategy should be adopted as an essential good practice for the achievement of all the sustainable goals by member states.

Represented by Dr. Kolawole Olowe, Yonly said experience has shown that most government intervention programmes and projects aimed at solving the myriads of problems are often planned, implemented and evaluated without a gender component.

In his presentation, Mr. Omar Fye, Management Development Institute (MDI) Serekunda, The Gambia said women in Africa accounted for 43.4% of total employment in the second quarter of 2021.

Of those in managerial positions, 66.9% were men compared to 33.1% of women. This shows the gender disparity on both men and women as the later has been the most deprived for a very long time adding that West Africa has been persistently trapped by variety of migrations caused by population pressure, poverty, poor economic performance and endemic conflicts.

“Unemployment among young people in West Africa is emperically overwhelming, yet it prevails higher among young women. This is beacause of their low level of education, long term traditional distractors, social barriers, gender stereotype and discrimination and house work”

Fye noted that MDIs should be ready to take up the challenge to be more gender sensitive and consider youth

empowerment programs in their curricula if we want really want to achieve the wishes and the aspirations

of the SDG 2030. However, it is important to encourage creative arts and performing arts hence a lots of youths do have potentials in these areas, but unfortunately some of our government do not attach much value to them.

Dr. (Mrs.) Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Accra, Ghana noted that MDIs should be able to demonstrate gender sensitivity and promote gender mainstreaming in their operations:– governance;– management;– human resource capacities and management practices “Build in-country strategic alliances with other research and training institutions, policy think-tanks, government departments, women’s networks and organizations devoted to promoting gender equality in the country as well as sub-regional and international collaboration activities to enhance gender sensitivity and mainstreaming must be explicitly included in organisational policies, plans, budgets and frameworks; backed by adequate resources; and monitored through appropriate indicators.

Dr Ayodele Fagbemi , of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), noted that due to the failure of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3 to address important issues such as violence against women, economic disparities and the low participation of women in political decision-making, development of Goal 5 of Agenda 2030 was  developed.

He explained that towards attaining equal share in domestic work, Nigeria, on September 29, 2021, approved 14-day paternity leave for civil servants when their spouses or wives have given birth to a newborn baby. Or if the husband and wife have just adopted a baby of less than four months.

MDIs need to fund research to establish the negative effects of gender gaps in employment, politics and economic empowerment as well as gender access to resources in the West African countries.

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