With the recent publishing of the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report comes the sobering conclusion that the global gender gap has only been closed by 68.1%. This means that, at the current rate of progress, it will take 132 years to reach full parity.
Reacting to the findings of the report, the EJS Center’s Chief Operating Officer Amini Kajunju advocated for increased support for women’s access to leadership opportunities in order to accelerate progress toward gender equality.
Writing in an op-ed recently published in the Liberian Daily Observer, Ms. Kajunju argued that investing in leadership opportunities and creating a pipeline of inspiring and aspiring women leaders can drive equality forward.
Calling for urgent actions to be taken to tackle gender inequality and improve the global prospects of women and girls, “who, more often than not, are disproportionately affected in times of crisis,” she wrote:
“If the current rate of progress is maintained, it will take 132 years to reach full parity… This is more than a lifetime—more than anyone can wait for equality to be fulfilled.”
Although noting that long-standing structural barriers, geopolitical conflict, climate change, and the cost-of-living crisis are making the gender gap harder to close, Ms. Kajunju pointed to the encouraging signs on the African continent. The sub-Saharan region recorded its highest gender gap score in 16 years—bridging 67.9% of its gender gap and ranking ahead of the Middle East and North Africa.
“The current progress seen in sub-Saharan Africa carries with it the momentum of long years of struggle for parity that African women leaders, active in various fields, have undertaken. These women have redefined what’s possible for women to achieve.”
Ms. Kajunju also noted the EJS Center’s contribution to the progress toward gender equality across the continent, particularly through the Amujae Initiative and its Data Hub for Women’s Leadership in Public Governance—an innovative and unique tool that presents critical, reliable data on women in leadership positions in Africa.
She concluded with a call for increasing efforts toward gender equality so that Africa and the world can “start seeing how parity can help societies and communities spread their wings.”
Read the full op-ed here.