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Study shows women widely discriminated against in African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries

Published:Monday | September 22, 2014 | 12:20 PM

A newly released study on the role of women in advancing sustainable human development in African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries has highlighted the prevalence of social and cultural norms that discriminate against women in these regions.

The EU-funded report, titled "ACP Women, Actors in Development," documents 30 case studies illustrating the vital role of women’s grassroots organisations.

Looking specifically at the Caribbean, the report says there is a definite increase in women’s share of the employment in the non-agricultural sector in most Caribbean countries.

However, it says despite the fact that women are pursuing higher education in larger numbers than men, their position remains confined to the services sector, the caring professions, and other low waged, labour intensive areas of the labour market.

The report also says there may be no real difference in self-employment rates of men and women but there are considerable gender differences in quality.

It says this disparity in quality shows up in terms of average earnings, work conditions and income security.

The EU-funded report also says income gap between women and men, while narrowing in recent years, remains wide.

In the meantime, the report notes that several countries have been able to elect female heads of state including Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

However, it says while there has been increased women’s representation in politics, in 2013 only 80 out of 543 elected representatives were women.


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