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South Korea’s top trade official is dropping her bid to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organisation, making it likely the job will go to former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She would become the first woman to lead the organization. South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement Friday that its minister for trade, Yoo Myung-hee, will soon tell the WTO she is withdrawing her candidacy. The WTO, which makes world trade rules, announced in October that Yoo and Okonjo-Iweala were the two finalists to become its next director-general, ensuring a woman will fill the top job for the first time. The WTO had ben expected to announce a winner before the end of 2020, but the process dragged on because of disagreements between member states over the candidates, the South Korean ministry said. While it appeared Okonjo-Iweala had broader support, the WTO…

Some 48 mentors and mentees will officially kick off this year’s Katuka Mentorship Programme in Windhoek tomorrow. Well-known human resource specialist Sabine Ruegg will conduct the three-day orientation programme. Sponsored by Bank Windhoek, the Katuka Mentorship Programme aims to empower and encourage entrepreneurs, business and professional women to succeed in their careers through mentorship by seasoned business and professional women. The late Lena Markus, former Businesswoman of the Year 2000 in the category of Corporate/Professional, founded the programme. In its twentieth year, the programme has produced significant results in the careers of the participating mentees. To date, 401 entrepreneurs and businesswomen have completed the programme. “The Katuka Mentorship Programme is a method of advancement, which provides support and training through relationship building. It is about matching a mentee and a mentor with a similar personal and professional interest in the process of support, sharing, and learning to help entrepreneurs and…

U.S. voting rights activist and Democratic Party politician Stacey Abrams has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for her work to promote nonviolent change via the ballot box, a Norwegian lawmaker said on Monday. Abrams, whose work was credited with boosting voter turnout last year, helping Joe Biden win the U.S. presidency, joins a long list of nominees, including both former President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, former White House adviser Jared Kushner. “Abrams’ work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil rights,” said Lars Haltbrekken, a Socialist Party member of Norway’s parliament. King, a Baptist minister who became a leader of the 1960s civil rights movement, won the Nobel prize in 1964 and remains among its most famous laureates. “Abrams’ efforts to complete King’s work are crucial if the United States of America shall succeed…

The World Economic Forum Davos Agenda is taking place from the 25-29 January and is this year embracing collective action by public and private partners for bold solutions to improve the state of the world and manage the direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The Generation Equality Action Coalitions build on and reflect this imperative as innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships that will mobilize governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector to catalyze action, drive investment, and deliver concrete, game-changing results for gender equality. It is in this spirit of cross-sector collective action that leaders from the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality have released a joint statement calling for extraordinary collaboration and solidarity – among people, organizations, and countries. The diverse Action Coalition partners express their unwavering commitment to design and implement transformative ideas that will drive a more equal and inclusive digital transformation as we…

Struggling with the Covid-19 slump, India’s female entrepreneurs are hoping for a win with this year’s budget. Between March and June when India was under a complete lockdown, several people—especially thousands of women—took to entrepreneurship. This was either because these people had lost their jobs and were looking for ways to earn, or because they sensed an opportunity in the growing trend of hyperlocal demand as physical stores and restaurants remained shut. For instance, thousands of women turned home chefs, serving customers who wanted home-cooked food but lacked culinary skills. Many others tried to make a buck from pandemic-related trends. In rural Karnataka, for instance, 200 women banded together to start producing and selling masks. Others created healthcare and ed-tech products to solve new problems birthed by the pandemic. However, as economic activity trudges back towards normal, these entrepreneurs see several obstacles ahead of them. In October, the Indian government noticed the sudden spur in the…

The Law Society of Namibia has called on the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Gender Equality and relevant stakeholders to combine efforts in the creation of a sexual offenders’ registry. The Director of the Law Society of Namibia, Retha Steinmann in a statement this week echoed this while condemning the ever-increasing wave of gender-based violence in the country. The Society has since urged government and stakeholders to look at finding alternative solutions, including the creation of a sexual offenders registry, the enforcement of stricter sentencing for those found guilty of committing gender-based violence, femicide or sexual violence, and other necessary measures. “Our women, our children and our men have been victimised and traumatised and dehumanised in what will remain a stain on our history as a nation,” Steinmann said. Steinmann encouraged victims of gender-based violence and sexual violence to be brave and come forward so that the law…

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and insurance company Leadway Vie Côte d’Ivoire announced a partnership to increase access to life insurance for women in Côte d’Ivoire and create jobs for women as insurance brokers in the country. Under the partnership, IFC will help Leadway Vie Côte d’Ivoire, a subsidiary of Leadway Assurance Limited Nigeria, develop an insurance strategy and products tailored to Ivoirian women. Currently, only 2 percent of women in Côte d’Ivoire have life insurance, leaving millions of women-headed families at potential risk. IFC will also work with Leadway Vie to increase the number of women they employ as insurance agents, creating jobs and also helping boost the uptake of insurance among women. According to the International Labor Organization, 20 percent of Ivorian households are women-headed. These women tend to be more vulnerable to physical and financial shocks and often have limited access to coping mechanisms.…