Women’s Rights Figures In Africa: 10 Factoids To Make You Think!



The snail’s-pace at which gender equality and women’s rights are moving in Africa, means that a child born today will have to wait 80 years, yes eight decades, before he or she can see a world where both sexes are treated the same. That’s one sobering fact coming out of UN Women statistics. This means most us in the current generation will not see the back of gender inequities during our lifetime. Check these sobering facts out: 

  1. Pres.-Ellen-Johnson-Sirleaf
    President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia

    Africa currently ‘boasts” of just one elected female president – Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – in an entire continent of 54 countries, more than 50 years after political independence.

  2. At the current pace of change it will take approximately 80 years to achieve gender parity in workplaces (World Economic forum
  3. An analysis of the top 200 businesses in Africa reveals that only 2.5% of the CEOs for these companies are women. (Africa Advisory Group)
  4. Only 2 women are listed on South Africa’s top 100 CEOs… This when held up against the narrative of Africa Rising, suggest a lack of clear incentives for ensuring inclusive advancement of women to leadership positions in corporate Africa. (Africa Advisory Group).
  5. Women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 % of men’s wages. Contributing factors include the fact that women are more likely to be wage workers and unpaid family workers; that women are more likely to engage in low-productivity activities and to work in the informal sector, with less mobility to the formal sector than men; the view of women as economic dependents; and the likelihood that women are in unorganized sectors or not represented in unions (Source: UN Women)
  6. 71% of women in Ethiopia have reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime ( WHO)
  7. In Mali, Nigeria, Malawi and Burkina Faso over 70% of women report that they have no say in their own health needs as they have to seek permission
    from their husband. (Source: World Vision)figures
  8. Based on the latest Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), 26% of all households Africa-wide are headed by women. (World Bank) 
  9. Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health, and may increase vulnerability to HIV infection (World Health Organisation)
  10. Sub-Sahara Africa has achieved some of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the past 20 years, often in post-conflict situations. The number of female MPs has risen from 9.8% in 1995 to 22.3% in 2015. (The Guardian)
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