Connect with us


Investing in women, girls critical to transform economies- World Bank



The World Bank says investing in women and girls’ empowerment is critical to transform economies and improving peope’s lives.

The bank said this in its Regional publication on “Girl Power for Africa: Accelerating Equality in Western and Central Africa’’, on Friday as the world marks the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD).

NEWSVERGE reports that the theme for this year’s celebration as designated by the United Nations is: “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’’.

According to the bank, to win the development race, investing in women’s and girls’ empowerment is critical to transforming economies and improving people’s lives.

“Also making sure that half the population has access to equal opportunities and is not left behind.’’

The bank said while Sub-Saharan Africa continued to advance reforms to close the legal gender gap, the recent Women Business and the Law report highlighted the broad gap between laws on paper and the reality on the ground.

It said such reforms were breaking barriers and allowing women and girls to realise their full potential.

“In Western and Central Africa, considerable progress has been made in promoting girls’ education, championing legal reforms, improving livelihood opportunities, and developing more inclusive financial systems.

“Yet, progress in some areas has not fully translated into lifting girls and women in all areas.

“Nearly six out of 10 girls in Western and Central Africa are still not in secondary school, two out of 10 bear a child as teenagers and nearly half believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife.

“A woman in the region earns significantly less than a man, regardless of whether she is a farmer, wage worker, or entrepreneur.’’

The bank said the effects of intertwined crises of conflict, food security, and the continued consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, were further exacerbating existing inequalities.

Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice-President for Western and Central Africa, was quoted as saying “now is our opportunity to deliver results at scale for an equitable tomorrow.

“Educated and empowered girls and women recognise their inherent worth and will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.”

The bank said investing in women and girls was the right thing to do.

NEWSVERGE reports that the IWD is celebrated annually on March 8 to highlight women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender equality.

Okeoghene Akubuike

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750