By Rohey Jadama
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday, 12th
January, 2016 launched the 2015 Human Development Report (HDR) at
Kairaba Beach Hotel, which highlights the gender imbalances in both
paid and unpaid work.With the theme ‘Work for Human Development’, the UNDP report on human
development around the world underscored the need to promote
sustainability and decent work for all, through encouraging
governments to consider work beyond jobs such as unpaid care,
voluntary, creative work and more.
Noting that “Work is more than jobs!” the HDR puts people rather than
economies or economic growth at its centre, by focusing on all kinds
of paid and unpaid work from running a home to running a business.
Work, it further states, is much more than a pay check, stressing that
societies urgently need new policies, institutional reforms and more
equitable access to care services to address these major gender
imbalances in paid and unpaid work.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development
Programme Resident Representative, Ms. Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, said
HDR is the most celebrated UNDP flagship report that is published
annually for the last 25 years and that the report champions the
concept of human development which is about enlarging human choices.
“The key messages of the HDR report are that there is no automatic
link between work and human development, because it is the quality of
the work not just the amount which determines whether work will
enhance human development or not. Today, more than 1.5 billion people
in developing countries are working in jobs which offer few rights and
inadequate protection should they lose their livelihood,” said the UN
She continued “women are especially disadvantaged in the world of
work: three out of every four hours of unpaid work are done by women;
while only two of every three hours of paid work is done by men. In
addition, women get paid less than men for the same work. On average,
women earn 24% less than their male colleagues worldwide. These
figures indicate that the link between work and human development can
vary depending on the scale of opportunities for workers, their voice
and participation, and level of discrimination, including violence at
the work place.
Ms. Lekoetje added that the HDR stressed that achieving sustainable
development will mean changes for the workforce, noting that many jobs
will need to change if countries are to make progress on building low
emission and climate-resilient futures. These changes, she said, will
help determine the labour market of tomorrow, certain jobs – renewable
energy production, will grow in number and other jobs will need to
change such as some methods of agricultural production.
“The report acknowledges progress made globally and nationally in
advancing human development, however, significant human deprivation
still persists and huge human potentials still remain untapped. The
report recommends focus on national employment strategies as a centre
of development discourse. When employment is in the national plan, as
in the case of the Gambia adequate resources need to be provided to
ensure employment creation. Countries, especially in Africa should
create sustainable work for their citizens,” said the UN Resident
Delivering his launching statement, the Minister of Trade, Industry,
Regional Integration and Employment, Mr. Abdou Jobe, said the HDR
calls for an urgent call to tackle the world’s greatest development
challenges providing enough decent work and livelihood for all.
The trade, industry, regional integration and employment minister,
assured the Gambia Government’s commitment in its strategy of ensuring
accelerated growth and employment.
Minister Jobe added that in 2010 the government in collaboration with
UNDP had the civil service reform and institutional capacity
development project as well as the recently launched Gambia Decent
Work County Programme. This, he went on, shows that human development
is a priority for the government and people of the Gambia.
He noted that they need more support in capacity building from the
international community in order to further enhance the country’s
productive capacity in pursuit for sustainable development.
By Rohey Jadama