International Women’s Day 2014: Celebrating and promoting Gender Equality

The annual International Women’s Day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness for positive developments, best-practices and still persisting barriers in the field of Gender. In March 2014, more than 1,300 events were organised by companies, women’s groups, schools, governments, charities and individuals from all around the world, showing the richness and creativity of the global Gender movement. The African continent displays interesting examples for gender commitment, often focusing on the elimination of inequalities that harm economic progress or social balance. In the Gambia, the office of the Vice President and ministry of Women’s Affairs opened a two-day international conference. The first lady of the Gambia, Zineb Yahya Jammeh, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony demanding the African governments to invest in education and training of young boys and girls in order to drive Africa’s modernisation and development in all spheres. Zineb Jammeh stressed the negative impact of Gender inequality on personal development and well-being, but also on National development. Liberalisation will not only favour young women but also enable talented young men. The African Development Bank (AfDB) celebrated the International Women’s day with a focus on financial inclusion. An equitable access to education and financial services plays an important role in decreasing the vulnerability of poor people. According to the AfDB, more than two-thirds of the adult population have no access to formal financial services in many African countries. Financial exclusion is highest among women, youth and the very poorest segments of society. As long as the financial resources are unequally distributed, Gender equality cannot be achieved in African countries.