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WEF Report: Rwanda leads Africa in gender equality

Rwanda has the highest number of women in parliament and cabinet.

Rwanda has been ranked 9th in the 2020 Global Gender Gap Index that was published on December 17, slipping three places compared to the 2019 report.

The World Economic Forum’s report has also placed Rwanda the only African country among the top 10 countries in gender parity. 

 

Commenting on the report, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Soline Nyirahabimana said they are yet to analyse the report to establish cause for the decline and what was considered.

 

“Rwanda’s efforts to promote gender never weakens. We still need to look at what the report considered to rank Rwanda three places behind,” she said.

 

During the just concluded17th National Umushyikirano Council,  President Paul Kagame also commented on the report, saying that being the only African middle-income economy in the top 10 is an achievement, but the aim should be top 5, which means that there still much to be done.    

Regardless of the slip, the report presents that globally, gender parity stands at 68.6per cent with political empowerment scoring the poorest.

Health and education were the best performers with parity score of  96.1 per cent and 95.7per cent close respectively. The report forecasts that it would take just 12 years to attain gender parity in education and 95 years for Sub-Saharan Africa to reach gender parity, the report forecasts.  In the education sector, 40 out of 153 ranked countries fully achieved gender parity.

In terms of parliamentary representation, globally, women have secured just 25 per cent of available positions, a figure that slips to 21percent at a ministerial level.  While economic participation, the report found out, the gender gap will take 257 years to close, in comparison to 202 years in the 2019 report.

Economic participation and opportunity are only where gender parity figures have regressed with a deteriorating situation forcing gender parity to 57.8percent, which in time represents 257 years before gender parity can be achieved.

Globally, there are still 72 countries where women are barred from opening bank accounts or obtaining credit and only 55 per cent of women are engaged in the labour market while men are 78percent.

The report pointed out the reasons why women’s participation in the economy is still decreasing; not enough women are entering professions where wage growth is the most pronounced (most obviouslY technology), and women face the perennial problem of insufficient care infrastructure and access to capital.

The report also highlighted that there is no single country where men spend equal time on unpaid work as women. In Rwanda, women spend four more hours on unpaid work than men, according to Action Aid Global survey.

By region, Western Europe was the best improved in terms of gender parity with 76 per cent while the Middle East and North Africa closed the list with 60.5 per cent.

The Global Gender Gap Report has been conducted since 2006 by the World Economic Forum. It also issues out the Global Gender Index designed to measure equality. This year, the report covered 153 major and emerging economies worldwide.

ailiza@newtimesrwanda.com

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