World Bank and AllAfrica Mark International Women’s Day with Webinar - 'COVID-19, Revealer of African Women’s Incredible Resilience'

Webinar with the World Bank and AllAfrica Global Media for International Women's Day.
6 March 2021
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In this time of pandemic, Sub-Saharan African women have, more than ever before, shown extraordinary resilience. In response to adversity, the strength and intelligence of African women have enabled the continent to stand up, showing once again that it is indispensable to invest in them and that women's economic empowerment is key to prosperity for all.

That issue will be in the heart of the webinar which the World Bank and AllAfrica Global Media, world leader in the distribution of news on Africa, will jointly organize on Monday March 8, 2021, on the topic «COVID-19, Revealer of African Women's incredible resilience» which you may follow (from 13:00 to 14:30 GMT/8:00 to 9:30 ET) through the links below:

The debates will involve Mr Ousmane Diagana, Vice-President of the World Bank for West and Central Africa; Dr Aissatou Sophie Gladima, the Senegalese Minister for  Oil and Energy; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Chadian environmental activist and Geographer, Djaïli Amadou Amal, Cameroonian writer committed againstsocial discrimination and the condition of women in the Sahel,and Rabiatou Harouna Moussa, computer engineer and co-founder of WO'MEN Dev. There will also be an exclusive intervention by the African music icon and UNICEF Ambassador, Mrs Angélique Kidjo.

In its 2021 report entitled Women, Business and Law, the World Bank welcomes the progress made with regard to legal reforms meant for improving women's economic opportunities and their employment prospects. In that respect, Sub-Saharan African countries have initiated reforms related to the labor market: «43 out of the 48 countries of the region (90 %) have banned any discrimination between men and women at work'. Furthermore, the minimum legal age for marriage has been raised.

The community-based and inclusive approach is also proving to be the key to success regarding issues relating to women's economic empowerment:   The Regional Project of Support to Pastoralism in the Sahel (PRAPS) has offered more than 517 training programs in rural areas. Populations; themselves, jointly developed that project which  was financed by the World Bank and implemented in six countries in the Sahel, namely Chad; Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. It enabled more than 20,000 persons, made up of 88 % of women, living in beneficiary countries, to successfully start income-generating activities.  Women of the village Bouteydouma (Mauritania) who have started a second youth thanks to the assistance provided to them by the Regional Project of Support to Pastoralism in the Sahel testify that their husbands have been by their sides "since they saw the money coming into their houses". Community assistance implies getting all the members of the community and the families to help for their emancipation.

Through all national development strategies elaborated in this context of economic recovery, the authorities are considering reducing the double-day for women by relieving them of daily household chores. The Itinerant Child Care Centers project in Burkina Faso sponsored by the World Bank has witnessed frank success with hundreds of women who required its service in order to go to work serenely. This is a simple and cheap initiative which few countries like Cameroon, Madagascar, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will replicate.

The World Bank welcomes the action of several African governments that drive the promotion of women's rights and their economic empowerment through reforms undertaken with the help of technical and financial partners and civil society actors. African women are a driving force for emergence. It is just necessary to provide them with tools and space for them to fully express the ingenuity, creativity, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit that are in them. Numerous studies show that investments in education, health and economic opportunities for women and girls are essential for accelerating the demographic transition in sub-Saharan Africa and drive sustainable economic growth.

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