Women’s ability to participate equally in existing markets; access to and control over productive resources, access to decent work and control over their own time are far from being realised across the globe, analysts say. According to the United Nations, women remain less likely to participate in the labour market than men around the world. Labour force participation rate for women aged 25-54 is 63 per cent compared to 94 per cent for men,” according to the UN Women. Women’s access to finance is also disproportionately low, compared to men. A 2020 study about banking in sub-Saharan Africa found that 37 per cent of women had a bank account, compared with 48 per cent of men. Barriers to property ownership also make it difficult for women to access loans from financial institutions. Some of the women attending the Commonwealth Women’s Forum, as part of CHOGM 2022, said that even where the barriers have been removed, societal attitudes, and the women’s mindsets can be a barrier to their own empowerment. “I can’t say there is anything wrong with being a wife, but how does a girl who is raised up to be just a wife face the board of a bank that is going to give her financing? She does not have the courage” said Doris Rwebangira, a businesswoman, who conducts her business in Rwanda and Tanzania. Cameroonian campaigner Adah Mbah, however, believes that women need a hand to help them overcome primary barriers. “We have carried out training for over 2000 women; however, we’ve noticed that training without capital is insufficient. Women may have the ideas, but then, they are not in position to implement,” she said. She gave the example of Israel, where women are given financial support to start business. But chief executive of Women Deliver, an organisation that advocates for gender equity, Maliha Khan, said that existing policies need time to embed. “Gender equality is a fundamental change in ways that we perceive gender roles, in how we make decisions, in who gets to sit at the table, particularly around policy or businesses, and this takes a long time to change because it is embedded in social norms,” she said. Citing Rwanda, where over 60 per cent of parliamentarians are women, she said that even such high representations do not deliver immediate results on the ground.