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

Empoderar a la otra mitad de la economía africana

JOHANNESBURGO – Julius Nyerere, primer presidente de Tanzania, dijo en 1997 que aunque la “unidad no hará a África rica, puede evitar que África y los pueblos africanos sean subestimados y humillados”. Pero dos decenios más tarde, una fractura clave todavía divide al continente: la desigualdad de género. Para hacer realidad la visión de un continente fuerte y emancipado de Nyerere, África necesita una nueva era de liberación basada en el empoderamiento económico de sus mujeres.

La consultora McKinsey calculó que en 2040, África tendrá la mayor fuerza laboral del mundo, con más de 1100 millones de personas en edad de trabajar. Sin embargo, todavía más del 60% de la población africana sobrevive con menos de dos dólares al día. Es evidente que aunque muchos africanos alcanzaron la emancipación política (legado de la generación de Nyerere), la pobreza sigue siendo un problema importante. Y el mejor modo de superarlo es liberar el potencial profesional de las mujeres africanas.

En la actualidad, las africanas siguen subrepresentadas en las principales industrias y en puestos ejecutivos, debido a la discriminación en el entorno laboral y a las expectativas patriarcales en casa. A menos que se eliminen las barreras de entrada a la economía formal y las mujeres cuenten con opciones para hacer realidad todo su potencial, el desarrollo socioeconómico de África seguirá trabado. Pero todavía es muy común que a las mujeres se las vea como actores secundarios, a pesar de que su aporte es esencial para el progreso del continente. Por eso, las mujeres deben reclamar su derecho a participar en las decisiones y definir las políticas, los planes y las estrategias que afectarán sus vidas y las vidas de las generaciones africanas venideras.

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