Women Empowerment In Africa

1254 Words6 Pages
The issue of women empowerment remains a major concern in the quest for achieving sustainable development around the world. This concern is born out of the realization that investing in women can lead high socio-economic returns. Many African women are the unsung heroes that drive their communities, in spite of a male dominated society. As farmers, they increase agricultural productivity while ensuring food security for their families and communities. As Mothers, they cater for the needs of their children and relatives, prepare meals, and see to the general well-being of the family. As entrepreneurs, they engage in small scale trading, and businesses that generate income for family needs. As health professionals, they treat treatable diseases,…show more content…
With little or no access to resources needed to advance their lives, lack of property rights, violence against women (both in peace and conflict situation), low educational opportunities and little control over resources, etc.
Recognizing these challenges, African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) during its 52nd Council meeting adopted the African Union (AU) "Agenda 2063 Roadmap" - an ambitious development timeline which includes dedicating, "2015 as the Year of Women 's Empowerment and Development in Africa." It was overwhelmingly agreed, during ARSOs 21st General Assembly, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that investing in women is one of the key ways to achieving sustainable development in Africa, and special attention must be given to the role of standards in this regard.
Standards contributes to women empowerment by clarifying and harmonizing practices; help to determine the level of quality, safety, performance, compatibility and sustainability of products, services, methods and processes. It also helps women break trade barriers, by adding value to their products, processes and services. But, it should be clearly noted that standards are by no means a holistic approach to empowering women. Other approaches must complement the contributions of standards, with a view to achieving gender parity in Africa by
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The ARSO conformity Assessment Committee, Consumer Committee, Standards Harmonization all are key strategies for achieving the women’s empowerment and agenda 2063. SMEs are a critical part of the Africa’s economy and have a central role to play in growth and job creation, but their use of standards and their involvement with standardization is typically low. The theme encourages a focus particularly on supporting innovation and improving the competitiveness of SMEs. One of the ways to achieve this is through promoting and enabling greater and more effective SMEs involvement in standardization and use of standards and standardization. Given the focus of Agenda 2063, it has never been a better time to focus on standards, as more and more SMEs in Africa, where Women play a crucial role in the production, are realizing the benefits of their strategic use to achieve measurable improvements to their competitiveness, increased ability to demonstrate the quality of products or services, improved ability to trade across borders and export, improved ability to meet legislative and regulatory requirements and improved internal risk management and planning. As emerging economies, moving from agriculture based, low income economy to an

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