A report by the United Nations says gender equality is 300 years off track, urging world leaders to bridge the digital gender divide.
This means promoting women’s full contributions to science, technology and innovation is not an act of charity or a favour to women, but a necessity for everyone.
The report reveals that the health and resilience of communities and economies depends on women being at the decision-making table.
According to the report, women occupy a minority of leadership roles across sectors and just 28 out of 194 countries are led by women.
In a report jointly signed by health experts such as the Board Chairman Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH) Helen Clark, Board Chair Women Deliver María Fernanda, and Women in Global Health, Board Chair Espinosa Garcés, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, inequity being played out during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, where only a few countries were able to keep death rates relatively low and many of those that could, had governments led by women.
Analysis of this report maintains that 11.2 million girls and young women were left at risk of not returning to education, while over 70 per cent of women lose their job, many are underpaid, unpaid, overworked, or in precarious jobs.
As the world marks this year’s International Women’s Day, Stakeholders are calling on Heads of State and Governments to prioritise and resource this agenda in every time they meet.
It was recommended that more women be introduced in public and private sector leadership and decision-making roles as well as commit to gender parity by 2030.
Women should be represented at all levels, from President to CEO to ensure financial protection that will minimise out-of-pocket health care payments.
They however seek that underpaid work be addressed with adequate remuneration, close the gender pay gap, invest in safe work, deliver violence- and discrimination-free environments for all health workers.
Writing by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Adeniyi Bakare