Gambian-born Pa Lamin Beyai, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sierra Leone, has revealed that over US$90 billion loss was recorded within four years (2010-2014) due to gender-gap in the labor market.
Beyai made this disclosure on Friday in Freetown, Sierra Leone, at the start of a two-day dialogue forum on women and youth proportional representation in politics organized by the Ecowas Female Parliamentarians Association in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Participants are expected to use the symposium to engage in more strategic thinking to explore workable solutions to uplift women and youth’s status in political leadership and inclusiveness.
“On average, annual GDP losses between 2010 and 2014 due to gender gaps in the labor market exceed 90 billion United States Dollars in sub-Saharan Africa,” according to UNDP.
Beyai informed the forum that the UNDP Country Office in Sierra Leone has been working with the country’s Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs on implementing the Gender equality and women empowerment policy.
“We had supported the Women Caucus in Parliament on advocacy.”
He acknowledged that the reduction of gender-gap in Parliament, cabinet, and the public and private sector is critical to the socio-economic development of any country.”
Therefore, he congratulated the people and the Government of Sierra Leone for passing a law promoting women’s political representation.
Manuel Muller, the EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, said Gender Equality is a fundamental human right. “All over the world, adopting measures for the improvement of Gender equality translates into deepening democracy and improving socio-economic development.”
He observed that women represent 50 percent of the population and, therefore, must be included.