Stories by Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said closing the gender gap by 25 per cent by 2025 could add $5.8 trillion to the global economy and boost tax revenue.
This is even as the global labour body at its recent summit called for a better workplace that would guarantee a better future for women and men.
The ILO held a unique World of Work Summit at the 106th International Labour Conference to shape a better future for women at work.
The unique format of the event included the visit of three women presidents and a high-level panel discussion bringing together social partners and civil society representatives.
“As we work towards our next centenary and the transformations in the world of work intensify, a renewed sense of commitment is needed today to ensure that this better future for women – and men – becomes a reality,” the ILO Director-General told the ILO’s world parliament of labour in his introductory remarks.
“We have to take it as a starting point that equality for women in the workplace will not happen unless bold choices are made and courageous measures are taken. Women want to be in paid jobs, and these must be decent jobs – not undervalued, not taking place in an environment of discrimination, harassment or violence,” Ryder said.
The head of the ILO also highlighted the economic benefits of such an approach.
He stated that, “The ILO report released yesterday, on trends for women, shows that applying the G20 ‘25 by 25’ target – namely reducing the gender gaps in labour market participation by 25 per cent by the year 2025 – to all countries, could increase the global labour force by 204 million, and in turn could increase global GDP by 3.9 per cent. These are figures that cannot be ignored.”
The report, World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO), Trends for Women 2017, estimates that if this goal were realised at the global level, it would add $5.8 trillion to the global economy and increase tax revenue by $1.5 trillion.
President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, reinforced the arguments of the head of the ILO at the World of Work Summit and called on the global community to take urgent action on gender equality.
“The global economy will continue to suffer greatly, if women continue to be excluded,” Preca said.
She charged the international community to take urgent action “to accelerate gender equality and equitable participation in the economy.”
“Gender inequality is not only a pressing issue of moral significance. It is a challenge of critical importance to our economies,” the Maltese president told delegates.
Another distinguished guest, Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari, urged women’s empowerment to promote equal, just and peaceful societies.
“Societies cannot stand a long time on the shaky foundation of discrimination and inequality. Discrimination against women must come to an end for which we all have to put our meaningful efforts.
“It’s a fact that without political, economic, social and cultural empowerment of women, we cannot imagine the establishment of an equal, just and peaceful society,” she said.
Nepal’s President was joined by the President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who also advocated a better future for women at work.
Gurib-Fakim, the first woman President to lead Mauritius, urged African member states to eliminate gender inequality and empower women to boost the continent’s development potential through innovative policies that facilitate women’s integration in the workforce, which “could raise the productive potential of one billion Africans, delivering a huge boost to the continent’s development potential.”