Global perspective Human stories

UN Gender Focus: parental leave in Norway, space for women, women’s economic empowerment in Ghana

UN Gender Focus: parental leave in Norway, space for women, women’s economic empowerment in Ghana


Parental leave is smart for the economy and helps change minds

Unequal pay and lack of paid parental leave holds women back in the world of work. That’s the economic reality underpinning a meeting organized by UN Women and the Nordic Council of Ministers which took place at UN Headquarters in September. Norway began offering paid parental leave to mothers for a full year in the 1980s, and fathers are entitled to 14 weeks. Since then participation of women in the workforce has risen from around 45 per cent to nearly 80 per cent. To find out more about the country’s experience, Ana Carmo spoke to Kristin Skogen Lund, Director General of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, who was one of the panellists.

Bolo Basuti from Botswana at the Space for Women expert meeting held at UN Women in New York. Photo: UN News/Dianne Penn

Earth observation technology a tool for women’s empowerment

Earth observation technology can be a tool for women’s empowerment as it provides satellite imagery which can help with environmental monitoring: for example, in agriculture or with tracking infectious diseases. That’s the view of Bolo Basuti, a research assistant at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology. She participated in a recent event in New York organized by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) called Space for Women. The initiative aims to get more women and girls to study the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and to enter the space sector. Ms Basuti spoke to Agnese Pastorino.

A woman works in a small shop in Ghana. Photo: The World Bank/Arne Hoel

Digital payments support women’s economic empowerment in Ghana

Switching from cash to electronic payments is helping to boost women’s economic participation in Ghana. That’s according to Camilo Tellez of the Better Than Cash Alliance, which advocates for this transition as a means to reduce poverty and support inclusive growth. The Alliance, which is based at the UN, has just published a study on Ghana’s experience with digital payments, such as for pensions and salaries. Mr Tellez told me it’s also having a positive impact on the lives of rural women. But to begin, he explained exactly why digital trumps cash, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Presenter: Dianne Penn

Production Assistant: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10'00″

Photo Credit
UN Women/Ryan Brown