Gender inequality facing women in leadership as the hindrance to achieving sustainable development in Africa


  • Andrew Enaifoghe Department of Business Management, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, 3886, South Africa
  • Anuoluwapo Durokifa School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, Johannesburg, South Africa



Gender, Equality, Sustainable Development Goals, Leadership, Inequality gap


The study examined the impact of the gender inequality gap in administration which serves as a interference to achieving sustainable social and economic development in Africa. The existence of gender differences has been overlooked in management and leadership research; hence it remains a reality that women are underrepresented in leading management positions in general on the ground, and particularly in leadership roles. The main question is if women’s call to occupy leadership positions is a complete reality or if it is purely a pursuit for political acceptability. Gender gaps in the workforce over the last two decades remained largely unaffected, notwithstanding the increased number of women who have acquired education. Qualitatively, data was primarily collected through secondary content. The need to improve the education systems in low and middle-income countries is recommended, as all countries can reap the benefit of optimizing their deployment of female-skilled professionals and leverage their talent.


Download data is not yet available.


Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (2019). Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. Center for Strategic and International Studies (2019) Wednesday, October 30, 2019.

Chin, R. (2015). Examining teamwork and leadership in the fields of public administration, leadership, and management. Team Performance Management. 21 (3/4): 199–216. DOI:

Cliff, V. (2018). Global Agenda: The Fourth Industrial Revolution could smash gender inequality – or deepen it. World Economic Forum. Mar 2018.

Cuberes, D. and Teignier-Baqué, M. (2012). Gender Inequality and Economic growth. World Development Report, Gender equality and development. The World Bank.

Dugarova, E (2018). Gender Equality as an Accelerator for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Discussion Paper UN Women. United Nations Development Programme 2018

Enaifoghe A.O & Khoalenyane, N. (2018). Analysis of Socio-Cultural Impacts of Women Representation in African Political Leadership. Journal of Gender and Behaviour (G&B). Volume Sixteen, Number Two, November 2018.

Enaifoghe A.O. (2018). Women Struggle for Representation in African Political Structure. Journal of Gender and Behaviour (G&B). Volume Sixteen, Number Two, November 2018.

FAO (2011). Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations, Rome, 2011

Folbre, N. (1994). Who Pays for the Kids? Gender and the Structures of Constraint. New York: Routledge. DOI:

Global Sustainable Development Report (2019). The Future is Now: Science for Sustainable Development' - Global Sustainable Development Report 2019

Hutt, R. (2019). A Woman Would Have to Be Born in the Year 2255 to Get Equal Pay at Work, The World Economic Forum, December 17, 2019

Independent Group of Scientists (2019). Global Sustainable Development Report 2019: The Future is Now – Science for Achieving Sustainable Development, (United Nations, New York, 2019). Appointed by the Secretary-General

Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (2017). IDS Annual Review 2017; IDS Annual Review 2017. Published on 18 September 2017. Available:

International Finance Corporation (IFC) (2013). Investing in Women´s Employment: Good for Business, Good for Development. World Bank Group

International Labour Organization (2012). Beyond maternity and back to work: coping with childcare, Maternity Protection Resource Package, 2012:

International Labour Organization (2013). Thailand: A labour market profile, 2013. ILO. Available:

Jennings, M. (2011). Economic Impact of Local Manufacturing of Bednets: A Survey, 2011:

Kabeer, N. (2016). Gender equality, economic growth, and women’s agency: the ‘endless variety and ‘monotonous similarity’ of patriarchal constraints. Feminist Economics 22(1): 295–321. DOI:

Kabeer, N. and Natali, L. (2013). Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is There a Win-Win? IDS Working Paper 417. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies. DOI:

Klasen, S. and Lamanna, F. (2009). The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education and Employment on Economic Growth: New Evidence for a Panel of Countries. Journal Feminist Economics, Volume 15, 2009 - Issue 3: Inequality, Development, and Growth. Taylor and Francis Online DOI:

Lauzen, M. M. (2017). It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World, The Center for Study of Women in Film, 2014.

LeMoyne, R. (2011). Promoting Gender Equality: An Equity-based Approach to Programming (PDF). Operational Guidance Overview in Brief. UNICEF. Retrieved 2011-01-28.

McKinsey (2012). The global gender agenda, 2012:

McKinsey (2012b). Women Matter, (2012).

McKinsey Global Institute (2013). Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy.

McKinsey Global Institute (2015). How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. September 1, 2015 | Report

Miller, J.W. (2013). Wanted: Miners in Brazil for Anglo American, Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2013

OECD (2018). Starting Close, Growing Apart: Why the Gender Gap in Labour Income Widens Over the Working Life (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2018)

Rutter, T. (2016). If you thought Social Care was a career just for women, you are wrong, The Guardian, 21 April 2016.

Schwab, K. (2020). Preface. World Economic Forum. DOI:

Siegel, J., Kodama, N., and Halaburda, H. (2012). The Unfairness Trap: A Key Missing Factor in the Economic Theory of Discrimination, Working Paper

The Economist (2018). Development 4.0 Opportunities and Challenges for Accelerating Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific. May 2018 and supported financially by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Truskinovsky, Y., Rubin, J., and Brown, D. (2012). Sexual Harassment in Apparel Firms: A Report from Better Work Monitoring and Evaluation, TuftsUniversity working paper, 2013.

Tyson, L., Klugman, J. and Smith, G. (2016) Business Culture & Practice As a Driver for Gender Equality & Women’s Economic Empowerment, UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, 2016.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (2015). Projections of industry employment, 2014–24. December 2015

UN Millennium Project (2005a). Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals. New York: UN Millennium Project. Director, Jeffrey D. Sachs. 2005. An independent publication, supported by the United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 2017-07-17.

UN Women (2019a). Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2019. Women and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UN Women and Latin American Parliament, (2015)‘Norma Marco para consolidar la Democracia Paritaria’, December 2015,

UNDP (2011). Social Services for Human Development: Viet Nam Human Development Report, 2011

United Nations (2005). The Millennium Development Goals Report

United Nations (2019). Gender Equality. Available:

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (2017). Investment and the Digital Economy. World Investment Report 2017

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (2019). Gender equality. Archived from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2020.

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (2010). Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics. Sales No. E.10.III.Y.1.

United Nations Women (2014). The World Survey on the role of women in development 2014: Gender equality and sustainable development

USAID / Extending Service Delivery (2011). Healthy Images of Manhood: A Male Engagement Approach for Workplaces and Community Programs

World Bank (2011). Women's Decision Making Power and Human Development: Evidence from Pakistan. Policy Research Papers. October 2011

World Bank (2012b). World Development Report 2013: Jobs, 2012: DOI:

World Bank and IFC (2003). Company Codes of Conduct and International Standards: An Analytical Comparison (Parts I & II). 2003

World Economic Forum (2016b). Executive Summary: The Future of Jobs and Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Executive Summary. January 2016

World Economic Forum (2017a). Accelerating Gender Parity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution An Agenda for Leaders to Shape the Future of Education, Gender and Work.

World Economic Forum (2017c). White Paper: Accelerating Gender Parity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution an Agenda for Leaders to Shape the Future of Education, Gender and Work

World Economic Forum (2019e). Insight Report; Global Gender Gap Report 2020. The Report and an interactive data platform are available at

World Economic Forum (2020d). Report: Mind the 100 Year Gap




How to Cite

Enaifoghe, A., & Durokifa , A. (2023). Gender inequality facing women in leadership as the hindrance to achieving sustainable development in Africa. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 12(7), 443–451.



Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences