A growing number of Sub-Saharan African countries are taking concrete measures to achieve legal gender equality, profoundly and positively impacting women’s empowerment and opening up new avenues for them to pursue their professional aspirations.
When women are empowered, societies as a whole benefit from their talents, skills, and perspectives. As the World Bank puts it, “By embracing gender equality, we unlock the full potential of half the population, leading to greater innovation, economic growth, and social progress,” adding, “By striving for legal, social, and economic gender equality, we not only uplift women but also foster inclusive societies that thrive on diversity and equal opportunity.”
Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon have set an example in Sub-Saharan Africa by implementing reforms benefitting women, including the elimination of all restrictions on women’s employment, the introduction of legislation protecting women from gender-based discrimination in financial services and domestic violence, and the mandate for equal remuneration for work of equal value. Through such reforms, new professional venues have opened up for women, ensuring their safety and well-being and promoting fairness and equity in the workplace. Both countries have a score above 90 on the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law Index – a score of 100 indicates that women have equal rights as men – and above 90 scores are typically associated with more developed economies. Four crucial legal changes have been implemented in Togo: the prohibition of gender-based discrimination in access to credit, the enactment of legislation to address domestic violence, the protection of pregnant mothers from dismissal, and the equalization of rights related to marriage.