Gender inequality happens when people face discrimination under similar circumstances based on their gender identity. Such discrimination triggers a divide that has detrimental consequences cutting across various aspect of socioeconomic life. This leads to a community that lacks basic ingredients essential for prosperity and thriving. Equal opportunity for all ensures a just and cohesive society that is inclusive and pulls a country’s development agenda in one direction. Gender equality entails a level playing field where everyone’s voice, regardless of gender, is heard. When all citizens are equally subjected to opportunities in terms of education, health, public decision making and incomes, additional value is guaranteed.
There is a strong case for gender equality in political positions. According to research, inequality is lower in countries where women have been engaged in policy formulation. The constitution of Kenya aims to attain gender equality through article 27. It states that women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres. It also requires the government to develop policies and laws that ensure not more than two-thirds elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender. Women in political position will highlight challenges they face that their male counterparts can’t comprehend or blatantly sweep under the rug.
‘Women in business’ is a phrase used to denote women in leadership roles in the field of commerce. It has been proven that companies with women at the executive level tend to perform better than their peers lacking women at the top. It is estimated that companies with women in senior positions score higher in all extents of organizational effectiveness. Women bring on board a different angle to leadership and this diversity ensures that the needs of a wider array of stakeholders are met. According to a report by the Catalyst, businesses with the most females had on average, 42% greater return on sales, 53% better return on equity and 66% greater return on invested capital.
Agriculture is key when it comes to reducing poverty in developing countries. A United Nations report noted that women comprise an average of 43% of the agriculture labour force in developing countries varying considerably from 20% or less in Latin America to 50% or more in parts of Asia and Africa. Women make an essential contribution to agriculture across the developing world. Since agriculture employs roughly 70% of Africa’s labour force, empowering women will improve the impact agriculture has in alleviating poverty.
The contribution of women in the development agenda has for so long been underrated and underutilized due to various reasons ranging from cultural beliefs to stereotyping. It is said that in the next decade, the labor force will constitute nearly a billion women. According to a report by Booz and Company, if female employment rates corresponded to those of men, GDP would increase by 5% in America and 9% in Japan by 2020. The impact of equal employment rate would even be higher in the developing world where gender inequality is higher and large proportion of women is unskilled or semiskilled. Gender inequality chokes a country’s quest for holistic growth. Gender equality on the other hand enhances the social fabric consequently bolstering prospects for prosperity.