As any nation would concur, sustainable economic growth is unthinkable and unachieveable without women empowerment, and measures for gender inclusion is the driving factor of social progress and economic development. Largely amount of working women has an enormous contribution to education, health, and wellness and therefore achieving gender equality is indispensable to holistic developments. Also many African families rely on women to cater for them and to provide basic necessities for survival. As African women receive education and are recognized with a higher legal status, they tend to be more responsible and reponsive their households giving superior nutrition, stronger food ,security and increased access to health care. Investing in women’s economic empowerment propels towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth and development. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.

Sadly, women are still disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation. Gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure,small incomes, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions. It limits  access to economic assets such as land and loans. It limits participation in shaping economic ,social policies and constructive development. And because women perform the major part of household work, they often have little time left to pursue economic opportunities.They are not given the same right as men.Women in some areas are still bound by their culture and family. As women can’t go out at night or with the guys. Some Cambodian women are determined by their parents or husband. They still not allowed women to work or study far away from their home because they believed that women are weaker than men and some husbands get jealously.How ridiculous! Also, some women in Cambodia married in young age and some also forced to married by their parents.

Empowering women is to give women the right to lead. Women can adequately have equal right to participate in education, society, economy and politically. Women can involve in society as they are glad to choose their religious, language, work and other activities. Women are allowed higher education as men. They can go with the high-level of education, finish their classes, learn the skill and study whatever they want. Women also can join the politically as they have right to vote and do some activities in political. Women’s empowerment is a part to encourage women to feel strong by telling them that they can do everything that they want to do and achieve constructive goals and dreams. Women can work outside their home, have opportunity to make up their mind. Women are not depended on men. They can earn money to support their family by working through their abilities.Women should be confident and have a boosted self esteem, this is only possible when she feels that she has done something worthy to be celebrated.

One of the biggest concerns about gender inequality is women’s unpaid labor resulting to low income, this issue  involves advocacy to measure women’s unpaid care work, and to take actions so women and men can more readily combine it with paid employment. Many marginalized groups, including rural women and domestic workers, are often deprived of economic independence and many times their labors and effort go unnoticed by society. With empowerment policies striving to raise the incomes of women, resources can be appropriately managed to eradicate the issue.  Unpaid labor is a growing concern among many developing countries, and this is primarily associated with rural and low-skilled workers. By controlling the driving factors and protecting women from violence and social abuses, women can be encouraged to explore and utilize their potentials.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to remunerate women’s domestic work in order to alleviate poverty as well as promote economic growth and stability .Moreover, it is worth noting that the economic strength of women is instrumental in achieving sustainable development in diverse ways. Most importantly, the economic empowerment of women is crucial for them to become active participants in the politics of the country. Those who are economically poor will not have time and attention to devote to politics (Solomon and Memar, 2014). It is when women are economically powerful that they can better influence politics and decision making. Hence, the economic empowerment of women has several non-economic advantages as well.

Many international commitments support women’s economic empowerment, including the Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and a series of International Labour Organization conventions on gender equality. UN Women supports women’s economic empowerment in line with these, and with the growing body of evidence that shows that gender equality significantly contributes to advancing economies and sustainable development to help women actualize their entrepreneurial goals and promote them as leaders, mentoring programmes should adopt a more holistic approach wherein both personal and the professional aspects are taken care of. Income-making skills are not always successful in building empowering personalities, and empowerment schemes can launch competent mentoring programmes to cater to the growing fiduciary demands.

 In addition, working with a variety of empowering program, such promote women’s ability to secure decent jobs,attain high legal status, accumulate assets, and influence institutions and public policies determining growth and development. In all economic empowerment programmes, UN Women reaches out to women most in dire need, often by engaging with grass-roots levels and civil society organizations, particularly marginalized groups  which include rural women, domestic workers, some migrants and low-skilled women.Aims of empowerment programmes are higher incomes, better access to and control over resources, and greater security, including protection from any form of violence.

 This article concludes that attaining development among all the pillars of sustainable development is unthinkable without empowering women and obtaining gender equality, thereby using the entire potential of the country. Thus, this article suggests and plead that the government needs to work hard to change the existing position of women and achieve gender equality, which will have a positive effect on the sustainable development and growth of the country.

Olusanya Dayspring


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