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Women’s Economic Empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Charney Research & BSR | Report | March 23, 2017

According to the United Nations, gender inequality costs the region of sub-Saharan Africa an average of US$95 billion a year. Eliminating gender inequality and empowering women could raise the productive capacity of one billion Africans. This would deliver a huge boost to the continent’s development and for business interests. But how can this be done across such a massive, diverse, and troubled continent?

Our research draws on insights from three industries—apparel, mining, and mobile telecommunications—with a specific focus on how these sectors affect women in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. Charney Research – in conjunction with BSR, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and local partners – conducted the surveys in Ghana. For the qualitative phase, we conducted four focus groups, with a total of 28 working Ghanaian women; and for the quantitative phase, our sample size was 150 women.

Through our research, we found three main trends that informed our analysis: that working women all face common challenges, it takes more than a job to economically empower women, and companies need both local and global partners.

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