Message from the Group CEO on International Women’s Day 2016
Nairobi, Kenya: In the year 2014, the World Economic Forum estimated that it would take up to the year 2095 to achieve global gender parity. This was later adjusted to 2133 in view of continuing global challenges decelerating the gains. This cannot be an acceptable position in a world that yearns for equal opportunities for everyone!
Obviously, the challenges we face in Africa, coupled with traditional practices, present an even bigger challenge for the achievement of gender parity in all communities with no one left behind.
School enrolment for girls remains lower than that of boys and the dropout rate for girls remains high due to harmful traditional practices like early marriage and early pregnancies, as well as parental prejudices towards boys.
As Amref Health Africa, we pledge to take a concrete step towards achieving gender parity more quickly to help women and girls achieve their ambitions. We call for gender-balanced leadership, developing more inclusive and flexible cultures and rooting out of workplace bias.
As we continue to do our work of improving the health of women and children, we recognize that this cannot be achieved in isolation and must go hand in hand with advocating for their education, ensuring their rights to sexual and reproductive health as well as economic empowerment.
Our internal policy as an organization remains to advocate for equal opportunities for men and women at the workplace, with zero bias. With this in mind, I am asking all our offices across the globe to ensure that we continue to provide an inclusive working environment for staff, and in particular clean nursing rooms for lactating mothers.
I wish to salute all our women colleagues at Amref Health Africa and once again reiterate management’s position in ensuring gender parity as well as investing energy and resources in women across Africa.
Happy International Women's Day!
Dr. Githinji Gitahi
Amref Health Africa