Reduce Gender Inequality
During the 77th United Nations (UN) General Assembly, gender inequality has been highlighted as the progress of Sustainable Development Goal 5—achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls—has been lacking. Sima Bahous, the Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of UN Women, brought that up with alarming current progress rates, “…women and girls will not achieve full equality with men and boys for another 300 years.” Even worse, the female population faced more severe issues and crises during the pandemic. All of these prompt the calls for action from everyone.
The world’s female population is estimated to be 49.58%, yet, women have long been underrepresented in the business world. Catalyst, a premier NGO for women’s leadership, stated that in 2021, 31% of senior management roles were women, while the number for some countries, such as Japan, was only 15%. The root causes might have started from the inequality in education as the women population tends to receive less education than men. According to the World Bank, 39% of men in Sub-Saharan Africa have at least some secondary education, whereas only 29% of women attain the same level. Higher education has been reflected in higher numbers of new entrepreneurs. Therefore, providing education for the underrepresented demographic could increase their proportion in business.
ADVANCING WOMEN, CLOSING THE GENDER GAP
Buildher is an example of a social enterprise in Kenya aiming to tackle educational and workplace issues with an apprenticeship model. According to African Union Development Agency, half of Kenya's female population lives with less than US$3.10 daily. Buildher, therefore, aims to "create safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities." With their apprenticeship model, Buildher provides women with construction and manufacturing skills training and personal advice on well-being. This has resulted in over a 530% increase in income for Buildher women after four months of training. Buildher's influence has demonstrated the potential of the private sector in reducing gender inequality by supporting the underserved population with education and skills that could further promote their well-being.
A genuinely inclusive society must have the representation of all genders. With less than a decade, everyone should take part in contributing to the 17 SDGs as they are intended to achieve by 2030.
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