Gender Equality Effects Key to Advancement of any Economy

A Lecturer at the University of Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Christa Wichterich, has noted that “gender equality effect” is key to the advancement of any economy. She said women were very efficient and drive the growth of any country’s economy. Dr. Wichterich made these statements when she presented a paper on the topic “Womenomics and Commodification of Nature”. The workshop was organised by the Centre for Gender, Research Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) as part of the two-week international summit on the general theme “Land Use and Mobile Livelihood: Intersectional Perspectives on Pastoralism, Migration and Displacement". The lecturer indicated that the development of many countries was lagging behind because of the exclusion of women. She, consequently, called for the inclusion of women at all sectors of the economy so as to maximise growth and production. She highlighted the G20 Marshall Plan Africa and Compact with Africa to the participants. She said the Marshall Plan with Africa would prioritize private investment on the continent, possibly while reducing or shifting official development assistance. Dr. Wichterich also explained Women 20 (W 20), which aimed at promoting women’s economic empowerment as integral part of the G20 process. In 2017, W20 focuses on four pillars, namely labour market inclusion, financial inclusion digital inclusion and strengthening the W20, she noted. Dr. Wichterich stated that the ultimate goal of the W20 is to stop Africans from migrating to Europe. In her presentation, the Director, Feminist Research Institute, UC Davis, University of California, Prof. Amina Mama, paid glowing tribute to African feminists who played roles in the emancipation of women, mentioning the likes of Huola Shaarawi, Claudia Jones, Angela Davis, Djamla Bougired and Charlotte Maxeke. She noted that many feminists advocated for the studies of Gender and Women’s Studies in African Universities. The reasons, she said, for the introduction of the studies included; intellectual and scholarly endeavour, to develop and improve scientific quality of research, overcome epistemological biases in mainstream “men’s studies”, and generate new knowledge, new paradigms, approaches to methodology. She used the occasion to commend CEGRAD for the workshop. The Director of CEGRAD, Prof. Akua Biritwum, stated that “feminist is that whole point of knowledge production should serve an interest and feminists make the chance that we should bring about social changing to better women’s lives”. Because women are gendered, the problem of land interest had compounded, she noted.