A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

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The Effect of the Global Economic Crisis on African Women
By Ezinne Ukoha

It seems that the economic crisis has held the world hostage and there is no immediate reprieve in sight. In the most developed countries jobs are scarce and certain privileges that citizens were accustomed to, have now been regulated to the more fortunate. It has been a worldwide struggle but unfortunately it has not been evenly distributed.

 

Women in Africa have been the non-voiced and neglected victims of the economic downturn and much attention is needed to rescue this ever-growing trend. Africa was already mired in is own depths of depression, but the economic tailspin has taken things to a whole new level and it’s the women who are paying for it in more ways than can be imagined.

 

 

The gender inequality issue has plagued the continent for years and it is manifested even more with the new economic downturn and the consequences are a lot more intractable.  The job market is unequally divided with fewer women in the North holding down jobs and more women in West Africa working, mostly in the labor market.

 

Agriculture is a huge industry in Africa due to the dependence on the importand export market. It is apparent that African women are dominating that particular sector of the job market and the only way to help keep that going would be to create more jobs and incentives in that area. Women are naturally resourceful and adaptable compared to their male counterparts. With this in mind, there is a need for solutions to encourage the growth of jobs in the agriculture sector in order to give African women the support they need.

 

 

Africa, unlike other parts of the industrialized world, does not have the resources or capabilities to cushion their employed or unemployed with amenities such as health insurance or unemployment but creating jobs in areas where there is demand and supply could help cushion the blow of some of the absent fundamentals. The gender issue also has to be revamped. Men have to realize the significant roles women play in the household and beyond and also understand that they can be the breadwinner without feeling threatened or castrated. There is still a long way to go to repair the damage and hopefully the perseverance of the female spirit can be counted on minimize potential catastrophe.

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