Event details

Event description

Progress on gender equality amidst structural transformation has been remarkably uneven around the world. Gender gaps in labor force participation are small in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and yet gender gaps in wages are very large in the region. Across SSA, women are overrepresented in informal employment, with 90% of women employed informally compared to 84% of men; excluding agriculture the figures for SSA are 82% of women in informal employment compared to 73% of men. As the youngest region, sub-Saharan Africa also faces significant challenges in enabling its young women to pursue opportunities for human capital development and career advancement alongside their male peers. Shocks such as Covid-19 and climate breakdowns have also imposed a heavy cost on the region, with gendered implications. 

The Yale Economic Growth Center (EGC) and Yale Inclusion Economics (YIE) partnered with the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) to conduct a one-day in-person policy dialogue that explored research-based directions for policy and practice on reducing gender gaps in a variety of labor market indicators and improving talent allocation in sub-Saharan Africa as countries embark on diverse growth strategies. The event drew both on ACET’s forthcoming gender inequality-focused 2024 African Transformation Report (ATR), and on EGC and YIE’s ongoing research under the Gender and Growth Gaps project.

Objectives and themes

The event aimed to engage researchers, policymakers, practitioners, civil society, industry, and journalists in gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between economic growth and gender disparities in sub-Saharan Africa. The workshop included three plenary sessions, one on each of the following topics:

  • Macroeconomic Growth Strategies and Gender Gaps in Key Labor Market Indicators 
  • Gender & Power: From the Household to Institutional Structures 
  • The Rise of the Digital Economy 

We also addressed the following themes in breakout sessions:

  • Gender & Climate Adaptation Challenges
  • Measurement of Gender Gaps, Norms, and Economic Agency 
  • Gender, Youth, and Jobs in a Digital Age

The list of speakers and panelists at the workshop included: Hon. Williametta Saydee-Tarr (former Minister of Gender, Children & Social Protection, Government of Liberia), Hon. Nana Oye Bampoe Addo (former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Government of Ghana), Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi (ACET), Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan (Yale EGC), Fayudatu Yakubu (Lively Minds), Elvis Korku Avenyo (University of Johannesburg), Iyabo Olanrele (Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research), Bola Akanji (ACET and Quinnipiac University), Priscilla Twumasi Baffour (University of Ghana), Maria José Moreno Ruiz (African Development Bank Group), Gifty Volimkarime (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Evaluation Development, Ghana), Akosua Darkwah (University of Ghana), Gaurav Chiplunkar (University of Virginia, virtual), Odile Mackett (Wits School of Governance, virtual), Orazio Attanasio (Yale University, virtual), Chris Ssali (MTN Lonestar, Liberia), Maty Konte (International Finance Corporation, World Bank), Roselyn Adadzewa Otoo (Retail Finance Distribution (ReFinD) Research Initiative, University of Ghana), Chioma Agogo (M-KOPA, Ghana), John Asafu-Adjaye (ACET), Adelina Mensah (University of Ghana), Theophiline Bose-Duker (ACET), and Monica Lambon-Quayefio (University of Ghana).

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Jonathan Bower, Senior Research Manager at EGC, at jonathan.bower@yale.edu