A panel discussion that aims at addressing corruption and gender inequality was held at the UNECA on Thursday January 29, 2015.
The event was organized by the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and United Nations Global Compact.
“Women face lots of problems to do business, to get employment and to further their career because of corruption. There are a lot of ways women get affected such as sexual harassment, moral degradation, business failure and loss of employment,” said Mulu Solomon, General Manager of Right Vision International PLC and former president of Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations.
She further stated that Ethiopia has commendable laws and regulations when it comes to fighting gender inequality and corruption, “but its weak implementation of those laws makes it difficult for women” she added.
The panel gave suggestion on possible ways how companies, organizations and governments can empower women to make them less exposed to corruption and better prepare them to fight against maltreatment and corrupt practices.
“It is about a collective action. There is a trend of glorifying those that are corrupt, and those who are honest aren’t recognized by the society. It is time to ask what we can do to ensure that those that are honest are given their rightful places in the society,” said Olajobi Makinwa, Head of Anti-corruption & Transparency and Regional Representative of UN Global Compact.
The panel disclosed in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the money lost to corruption could fund the education of over 10 million children and provide medicines and vaccines to 180 million people.
According to Gizeshwork Tessema, CEO of a logistics and shipping company, Gize Plc, the private sector is becoming an important stakeholder in the international arena and is not immune for the threats of corruption.
“It is the collective responsibility of the private sector to join hands, concentrate efforts and call upon governments to help build stable, transparent and inclusive systems of governance,” Gizeshwork remarked. She further stated that there is a strong link between gender equality and corruption making it even more important for female employees and business owners to take action against corrupt practices.
“In order to really unleash and harness the potential of women in Africa, the private sector must stand up to corruption and show their support of ethical businesses. It is only then we can make a sustainable and lasting impact in the area of the development and empowerment of women on the continent,” she said.
In June 2014, the UN Global Compact made a call urging governments to recognize anti-corruption and good governance as fundamental pillars for a sustainable and inclusive global economy.