Lindsey O’Neal is a correspondent at Today News Africa based in central Florida. Lindsey writes on foreign policy, environmentalism, and national security. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, speaks Spanish and Russian, and has volunteered in Latin America, Africa, and over five U.S. states.
In an exclusive Today News Africa interview on Wednesday, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, honored African women. “Women will carry the day,” she said.
During her interview, she spoke on how women in Africa have been the backbone of the African economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With March universally known as Women’s History Month, Georgieva highlighted how women have most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how they have been a critical piece in supporting the African economy.
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“African women are strong, determined, and they have shown, especially during times of crisis, that they hold their families, their communities, and their countries together,” said Georgieva.
After significant market changes occurred due to the pandemic, such as hospitality and travel-related businesses closing, women in these industries have lost their most reliable income.
According to the World Bank in a survey completed last November, more women than men in Uganda and Ethiopia lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, further deepening the gender gap in the sub-Saharan African region.
Simply put, this crisis has been extremely bad for women. Domestic violence has increased, leaving many women in unsafe living conditions. During this massive international pandemic, more pressure has been put on women to balance parenting, homeschooling, cooking, and cleaning, while finding monetary resources to support the family.
Georgieva congratulated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on being the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO. She puts her trust in African women and decisive leaders to pull communities out of tough times.
Like Kristalina Georgieva said, “women will carry the day,” and they will overcome this pandemic and help the country and Africa region move forward.
Despite having six times less access to financing than men, women outperform men in entrepreneurship. “All women need is rights and access to financing, assets, and opportunities.”
If the international community opens up more space for women to lead, they will carry the country forward. It will be great for everyone, and especially great for Africa.