By Jessica A Badebye
As the world today celebrates “The Woman”, the representation of women in the economy, particularly in the labour market, on company boards and in the professions, is still at snail pace. This revelation was made by the chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in her statement to commemorate the 103rd International Women’s Day.
In a statement delivered by the Director for Women, Gender and Development, Mrs Litha Musyimi Ogana, Dr Dlamini Zuma urged the transformation of the continent in order to meet its development objectives. “As we celebrate the 103rd International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, the world and Africa are moving towards finalising the post-2015 development agenda. That is why we have made transformation as the foundation of the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda. Part of this transformation agenda is the mainstreaming of gender and women’s empowerment throughout all pillars and goals of the development agenda, with specific goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment”, the Chairperson noted.
She pledged that the AU will give priority to women’s access to capital and other factors of production such as land, as well as ensure that our infrastructure development, industrial development, job creation and promotion of intra-Africa trade are gender sensitive and seek to empower African women as her commission embarks on the finalization of the Africa Agenda 2063 framework which is aimed at the transformation of the continent.
In spite of 2014 being the year of Food and Food security in Africa, Dlamini Zuma empathised the fact that while women constitute over three quarters of the agricultural workforce, play a major role in food production and increasingly in domestic and cross-border trade, they only own less than one per cent of the land, and their access to assets, capital and infrastructure is limited.