Gender inequality costs 95 billion dollars a year in Africa

by Amref Health Africa

ROME\ aise\ – On March 8, International Women’s Day, Amref Italia renewed its commitment to promoting women’s empowerment in Africa. This year, the United Nations chose the theme “Investing in women: accelerating progress”. In the world, 63% of women forced to live in extreme poverty live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Here, according to UNDP data, the inequality of gender costs an average of 95 billion dollars a year.

Alarming numbers, which underlines Amref, highlight a difficult reality: 60% of girls do not complete their secondary education cycle, while one in three gets married before the age of 18. For the most part development of the continent, women represent an unexpressed potential and an invaluable resource. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 95% of women are engaged in the informal sector, such as caring for the home and family. They often have the task of recovering water, providing food for the family and collecting firewood, which requires long and tiring travel, taking precious time away from education and economic and social participation. Investing in women has a social and humanitarian impact and an economic one: Closing the gender gap in employment could increase Africa’s GDP by $101 billion per year by 2025.

Women and girls who have access to equitable health, education, financial resources, and entrepreneurial opportunities and are free from gender-based violence can enjoy a better quality of life and provide more opportunities for their families, play an active role in the labour market, stimulating innovation and promoting economic growth; participate in decision-making processes, bringing unique experiences and perspectives to generate more inclusive and effective policies and strategies; play a fundamental role in the search for sustainable, innovative solutions.

“It is in this context that Amref – an African health organization – works with women, starting from the most vulnerable communities, to guarantee them access to education, maternal and reproductive health, as well as economic and training opportunities”, states Roberta Rughetti, Deputy Director of Amref Italy. “During 2022, Amref directly reached 13.4 million African women, offering them fundamental services such as family planning, prenatal and postnatal care.” Despite the progress made, women’s rights often remain ignored, starting with the fundamental right to health: although the maternal mortality rate fell by a third between 2000 and 2022, 66% of all global maternal deaths still occur on the African continent. Climate change not only impacts access to vital resources such as clean water and safe sanitation, but also increases the frequency of epidemic diseases, putting the health of women and girls at risk, especially in rural settings.

Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, “Il Taglio – the Masai girl who fights against infibulation” will be available on OnePodcast and on all the main audio streaming platforms. With the extraordinary participation of the actress Caterina Murino, the podcast – born from the collaboration with Amref – tells the surprising and revolutionary story of Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, a woman symbol of courage, rebellion and female empowerment, included by Time in 2018 among the 100 most influential people in the world. “Investing in women to accelerate success is more than an imperative, so African women are increasingly aware of their rights and fundamental role as change agents. Women,” concludes Rughetti, “are at the centre of every progress and transformation social, and investing in women means investing in the future of Africa and the whole world”. (raise) 

Arrticle first published on

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More