Girl with a cut-out of Africa Miss Hibiscus/Getty Images

Empoderar a outra metade da economia de África

JOANESBURGO –Julius Nyerere, o presidente fundador da Tanzânia, disse, em tempos, que a uniãonão tornará a África rica, mas pode fazer com que África e os povos africanos não sejam facilmente desprezados e humilhados. Mas, duas décadas depois, África continua dividida ao longo de uma linha crucial: o género. Para concretizar a visão de Nyerere de um continente forte e digno, África precisa de uma nova era de libertação, que seja movida pelo empoderamento económico das mulheres do continente.

Embora as projeções efetuadas pela consultoria McKinsey prevejam que até 2040, África terá o maior número de mão de obra do mundo, com mais de 1,1 mil milhões de pessoas em idade ativa, mais de 60% da população atual de África ainda sobrevive com menos de dois dólares por dia. É óbvio que embora muitos africanos tenham beneficiado da emancipação política –o legado da geração de Nyerere –a pobreza continua a ser um obstáculo significativo. Estimular o potencial de emprego das mulheres africanas é a melhor maneira de superá-lo.

Na atual situação, as mulheres de África continuam a ser subrepresentadas nas indústrias-chave e funções executivas, devido à discriminação no trabalho e às expectativas patriarcais em casa. A menos que as barreiras para entrar na economia formal sejam retiradas e sejam apresentadas opções às mulheres que lhes permitam realizar o seu pleno potencial, o desenvolvimento socioeconómico de África continuará a ser impedido. Mas, embora as mulheres sejam essenciais para o progresso do continente, elas continuam a ser muitas vezes consideradas como secundárias. As mulheres devem, portanto, reivindicar o seu direito de se sentarem onde as decisões são tomadas e de definirem as políticas, os planos e as estratégias que irão afetar as suas vidas e as vidas dos africanos das gerações vindouras.

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