Photograph — Above Whispers

In celebration of the International women’s day 2020, Google has announced that it will double its commitment to women in Africa by training 20,000 females this year under the Women Will initiative. 

Asha Patel, Head of Marketing at Google South Africa recalled that “on International Women’s Day in 2019, Google announced the launch of Women Will, an initiative to create opportunities for women in Africa under the Grow with Google umbrella.” Patel added that since 2019 the initiative reached more than 10,000 women across eight countries and 26 communities in Africa which has “helped create access to networks, skills, and opportunities for women across the continent,” it is, however, time to advance in that commitment. 

In a bid to extend its dedication to women in Africa, Google intends to empower women participation with entrepreneurship, workplace readiness, leadership, and technology skills, starting with an empowerment drive in March and April 2020. A new Women Will training tour will be aimed at educating 5,000 women in 20 cities across Africa while a further 15,000 females will be trained through community-driven training initiatives led by Women Will chapters across the continent.

UN Women revealed that based on historical data, 2017 global unemployment rates stood at 5.5 percent for women relative to 6.2 percent for men and this is projected to remain unchanged till 2021. In a report by World Development in 2012, women account for 40 percent of the global labour force and are more likely to work in less productive sectors than their male counterparts. While in sub-Saharan Africa, over 60 percent of all working women remain in agriculture, often concentrated in time and labour-intensive activities, which are unpaid or poorly remunerated says a new ILO study.

Reversing the employment gender gap remains a pressing priority globally and in Africa because “empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps are key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustainable development goals,” Patel said. The head of marketing also added that this will “achieve gender equality, to promote full and productive employment and decent work for all and reducing inequalities.”

Through the expansion of Google’s Women Will empowerment initiative in Africa, there would be more representation of women in the labour force, better opportunities and access into male-dominated industries and overall economic productivity which increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes.

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