Image by Annie Spratt

Womens Right In Africa

Fighting individual, social, and structural racism is a public health and social justice emergency that must be addressed today. This means addressing our own implicit biases, and collectively working with our global health community to combat racism in our institutions. We are committed to fostering greater diversity, equity, and inclusion at Pathfinder—to upend the racist systems that perpetually oppress black communities and other communities of color.


Every day, millions of women in developing countries work hard to care for themselves and their families. You might find them cooking hours over a smoky fire, taking care of their young children, labouring long hours in a factory or harvesting vegetables in the field. Without the contributions of these women, economies would collapse.


Yet, women face great inequality when it comes to working. Some are paid less than men. Others are legally prohibited from working. And many find that their work is not compensated at all. The World Economic Forum predicts that global gender equality won’t be achieved until 2133, about 115 years from now. Until then, women continue to face substantial obstacles to receiving appropriate and fair recognition of their hard work.


In honour of International Women’s Day, here are 6 vital facts you need to know about women working around the world.


1. Women bear the responsibility for unpaid work at home.

This includes taking care of children or the elderly at home as well as doing housework. In fact, according to the World Bank, women spend between 2 to 10 more hours a day than men caring for children, the elderly or the sick.


2. In much of the developing world, women make up the majority of workers in the informal sector.


Domestic workers, street vendors or seasonal labourers – these are some of the typical jobs of the informal sector, unprotected by the government with wages paid under-the-table, if at all. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, women account for 89% of informal employment, according to UN Women. Without social protection, many of these women continue to live in a cycle of poverty and can be subject to harassment by their employers.


3. Women fair no better in the agricultural sector.

According to the FAO, women comprise 43% of the global agricultural labour force and are key to ensuring that communities and families are nourished with healthy produce. Yet, only 20% of women own the land they work on. When women gain equal land ownership rights, they also gain economic independence and contribute more income to the household.


4. In some parts of the world, women may face legal restrictions on working.

The World Bank found that in 100 countries, laws still exist that restrict the type of work women can do. In some countries, for example, women must get permission from their husbands before pursuing a new job.


5. Globally, women are paid less than men.


According to the World Bank, women earn on average about 60% to 75% of men’s wages. If the pay gap between men and women were to close, the world’s GDP could grow by $12 trillion by 2025.

6. Women comprise 40% of the global workforce yet they are 20% less likely to access financial services, like small loans or a savings account.


Without basic financial services, women can’t access the funds they need to start or expand their own businesses or save their profits securely for future expenses.