By Alieu Ceesay, Marcelina Ozekhome, Elizabeth Chirkpi & Saffiyatu F. Massquoi in Freetown
Pa Lamin Beyai, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sierra Leone has revealed that over US$90 billion loss was recorded within four years (2010-2014) as a result of gender-gap in the labour market.
Beyai made the disclosure on Friday in Freetown, Sierra Leone, at the start of a two day dialogue forum, aimed at scaling up political partnership between men and women.
Participants are expected to use the symposium to engage in a more strategic thinking to explore workable solutions that can uplift the status of women and youths in political leadership and inclusiveness.
“On average, annual GDP losses between 2010 and 2014 due to gender-gaps in the labour market exceed 90 billion United States Dollars in sub-saharan Africa,” according to UNDP.”
Beyai informed the forum that the UNDP Country Office in Sierra Leone has been working with the country’s Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs on the implementation of the Gender equality and women empowerment policy.
“We had supported the Women Caucus in Parliament on advocacy.”
He acknowledged that reduction of gender-gap in Parliament, cabinet, public and private sector is key to the socio-economic development of any country.
He, therefore, congratulated the people and Government of Sierra Leone for passing a law that promotes women representation in politics.
Manuel Muller, the EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, said Gender Equality is a fundamental human right. “All over the world, the adoption of measures for the improvement of Gender equality translates itself into deepening democracy and improving socio-economic development.”
He observed that women represent 50 percent of the population and, therefore, they must not be left behind.
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