Women in Africa : 5 Facts You Should Know

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. Based on the latest Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), 26% of all households Africa-wide are headed by women. (World Bank)
  4. Another study has found that about 70% of Cameroon’s women entrepreneurs are involved in the tertiary and services sectors. These include wholesale and retail trade, education, health and social services, arts and crafts, events management, food and beverage, hospitality and tourism. This trend carries into other African countries, too. But their businesses face serious resource constraints. This is partly because of socio-cultural and structural inequalities that favour men. Women entrepreneurs struggle to obtain credit, and to access entrepreneurship education. They also battle to deal with government officials, and cultural norms make it difficult for them to cultivate business networks.
  5. In countries affected by conflict, girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys; and have fewer education opportunities, thus depriving them of the opportunity to rebuild their lives and protect themselves against abuse. (Source: GPE)
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