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Women must be able to fully participate in economic and political leadership roles - Kamala Harris

US Vice President, Kamala Harris has underscored the importance of women in the governance structure across the world.

Vice President of the United States of America, Kamala Harris

She said the participation of women in political, economic and social leadership is important.

Addressing youth and women at a public lecture at the Black Stars in Accra on Tuesday, 28 March 2023, Kamala Harris said the world must be international in empowering women to make progress.

She told a crowd of young people gathered at the Black Stars square that “We need to be international and make progress in these three key areas - the empowerment of women, digital inclusion and good governance and democracy all of which is a focus of my visit to the continent and going forward, and all of which has the potential to create eve more innovation, innovation that will unlock new jobs, new industries and exponential growth.”

“So let us agree women around the world must be able to fully participate in economic, political and social lives and they must be able to participate equally including in leadership roles, it is a key to maximizing global growth and opportunities.”

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Despite the knowledge that including women in leadership positions is key to global growth, she bemoaned, however, that “we see gender disparities around the world including the United States, disparities we must all address.”

Citing an example, she noted that on the continent of Africa “we know women grow a majority of the food yet they are less likely to own the land they farm. They represent a majority of frontline healthcare workers but face disparities in healthcare outcomes.”

“Women are entrepreneurs yet have limited access to capital and markets, they are peace makers and bridge buildings yet continue to be underrepresented at tables where decisions are being made. And there are many factors that impact a woman’s ability to survive and thrive, one of those is economic empowerment, and when we lift up the economic status of a woman let’s be clear we lift up the economic status of her children, her family, her community, the entire economy benefits.”

Access to internet, she stated, drives growth and creates opportunity for innovation. “Ones people are online they have greater access to education, greater access to information and greater access to financial services that is why the United States will double down on our efforts to mobilise billions of dollars in public and private capital from the United States for the continent of Africa and around the world in order to expand internet access for the benefit of all people here on the continent,” she added.

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She indicated that there are places on the continent of Africa that lead the world in digital solutions yet other places on the continent lag behind.

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