Women working in Africa need equal benefits
Women are the backbone of family life in Africa, but many employers choose to ignore the fact that women often play an equal role in contributing to their families’ financial welfare. When it comes to pay, many companies treat their female workers as if they provide only a secondary source of income to their family, regardless of whether they are single parents, or support a male homemaker or unemployed partner. Female workers also face discrimination in terms of health care coverage. It remains common practice that men typically receive health benefits for the entire family. But for a woman those benefits might be restricted to her none for her children or husband.
Women in the workforce also take on dual roles, expected to balance family and career. Workplaces that set aside a lactation room or space for parents to care for an infant while at work. Very often, women have to take care of household work before leaving for the office, and also after coming home. Such a heavy workload is perceived as justified by the unjust belief that it is a woman’s duty to take care of housework, and not a man’s. Half of the international migrant population is women, who are supporting their families at home, but the world fails to acknowledge and respond to their specific circumstances and needs. That mindset should change, especially if Africa strives to become an economic powerhouse region within two generations. Equal pay and equal benefits are just some of the rights that must be upheld. Employers must start treating women equally in terms of payment and benefits, and not only expect them to complete an equal amount of work.