In this Wednesday, July 23, 2014 photo, U.N. Development Program Administrator Helen Clark of New Zealand gestures while speaking during an interview in Tokyo. Improvements in life spans, education and incomes are slowing due to natural disasters, misguided government policies and worsening inequality in a world where the 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people, the United Nations said Thursday, July 24, 2014 in its annual human development report. “Where people do address these things, development can come along very, very nicely. Where they haven’t addressed a lot of vulnerabilities and development deficits, as in Syria, it all comes spectacularly unstuck,” Clark said. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

In this Wednesday, July 23, 2014 photo, U.N. Development Program Administrator Helen Clark of New Zealand gestures while speaking during an interview in Tokyo.  (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP)—A U.N. report says sub-Saharan Africa loses around $95 billion a year due to gender inequality, jeopardizing the continent’s efforts for economic growth.

The Africa Human Development Report 2016 launched Aug. 28 by U.N. Development Program says deeply-rooted structural obstacles such as unequal distribution of resources and political power, combined with social institutions that sustain inequality are holding back African women, and the continent.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said if gender gaps are closed in labor markets, education and health, it will accelerate the eradication of poverty and hunger. The report was launched during the two-day Tokyo International Conference of African Development in Kenya.

Kenya’s civil society is pushing parliament to ensure that a third of elective posts are occupied by women in accordance with the constitution adopted in 2010.

 

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