Invest in Women

This month, we are celebrating women all across the world but we’re here to tell you why it matters to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and Africa as a whole.

Have women been marginalised? (Is there a problem?)

Have women been marginalised or do they think they have? Is anyone stopping women from attaining high positions or do they think the world is against them?

The short answer is yes. There is a gender gap.

According to the Global Gender Gap report, gender gap includes women’s economic participation (including the gender gaps in income, employment and leadership roles), educational attainment (with measures like literacy rates and educational enrolment), health and survival (such as life expectancy) and political empowerment (female representation in parliament, ministerial positions and years with a male or female head of state).

In 2023, Iceland took the top position for the 14th time in a row in the WEF rankings, with its gender gap estimated to be 91.2% closed. These are not mere numbers, it’s facts and figures. In the WEF report, Iceland ranks first in terms of political empowerment, thanks to the fact that nearly 25 of the last 50 years have seen a female head of state and that 48% of its parliament members are female, for example.

Women have been subject to discriminatory social norms and thus are perceived as unequal to men. This is why the gender gap is the widest in African countries. The only African country in the top 10, Namibia’s gender gap is estimated to be 80.2% closed, putting it in eighth position.

Why is this so?

Yes, there are female founders, CEOs and managers but the data is incomparable to that of the male gender. This is not because these women don’t have the ambition and drive, it’s simply because they are women.

In the political sector, for instance, only about 1% are women. Something is wrong.

According to the International Labour Organisation, In countries at all levels of economic development, a woman’s personal preference is the key factor in determining whether she will seek out and engage in paid work. However, this preference is heavily influenced by socio-economic constraints and pressure to conform to traditional gender roles.

The ILO-Gallup survey from 2016 also revealed that there are still many people who believe it is unacceptable for a woman to have a paid job outside the home. Many women reported that their immediate family disapproved of their decisions to work outside the home.

They have been marginalised, so? (Why should we solve it?)

There are two genders in the world. Limiting the ability of one reduces the productivity in the world by half.

When we invest in women and girls, we nurture entire communities,” said Valerie Guarnieri, World Food Programme (WFP) Assistant Executive Director, Programme Operations. “We can win the battle against hunger and malnutrition by empowering and supporting women to take the lead.”

From an economic perspective, reducing gender gaps in labour force participation could substantially boost global GDP. The regions with the largest gender gaps would see huge growth benefits.

One woman earning a promotion, landing an interview, becoming a homeowner is changing the trajectory of her family for generations. She is also improving her community in big ways.

Women have the power to turbocharge the sputtering global economy,” said Indermit Gill, Chief Economist of the World Bank Group and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. “Yet, all over the world, discriminatory laws and practices prevent women from working or starting businesses on an equal footing with men. Closing this gap could raise global gross domestic product by more than 20% – essentially doubling the global growth rate over the next decade—but reforms have slowed to a crawl.

In an article from Wealth Matters, UN Women estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational performance

(How can we solve it?)

Here are things we can do to close the gender gap.

  • Be very conscious of the gender gap
  • Put more women in power. This is a hack with a spiral effect. One woman in power, authority and influence paves the way for other women to follow. Women would usually look up to other women for guidance, strength and mentorship in their career path. In short, female leaders advocate for more gender equality.
  • Invest in women. At Nubia Capital, we are investing in women through our gender lens investing strategy. Gender Lens Strategy. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our investment approach. Our Gender Lens Strategy is an integral part of our investment philosophy. Our Gender Lens Strategy is not just an initiative; it’s a commitment to a more inclusive and successful future. We believe in investing not only in companies but in the potential of all entrepreneurs, regardless of gender.

Conclusion.

Invest in women.

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