Gerald Chirinda has on the Wirld Economic Forum blog written an interesting article about empiwerment of African women. Here it is:

“Women have long suffered stigmatization and marginalization globally. The number of women who still face challenges in reaching their full potential due to an uneven playing field is too high. Even still, I am encouraged by the women who have remained resilient in the face of adversity and committed to achieving their calling and purpose in life.

In a previous article, I wrote about the big questions for Africa’s next three decades, and it would be disingenuous to continue along this path without celebrating women and the extremely important role that they play on our continent. In December 2017, I had the privilege of participating in a meeting at Wilton Park on Taking Forward the Women’s Economic Empowerment Agenda, which brought together a diverse group of approximately 60 participants from 26 countries representing government, civil society and the private sector. This gathering gave me an opportunity to not only learn, but also un-learn some adverse norms and perceptions. Having been fortunate to grow up in Zimbabwe, in an era where women have been to a certain extent empowered, I have seen the positive results that empowerment brings.

Why women’s economic empowerment is important

I ask myself, what the world would look like if more women were empowered. In my research I was encouraged to learn that the highest share of women in the workforce globally are found in Africa, Zimbabwe being the highest with 52.8% and a Sub-Saharan average of 40%. However, women across the continent are more likely to be in informal employment relative to men. In the private sector, African women hold 23% of positions at executive committee level compared to a global average of 20 percent. At CEO level that number drops to 5 percent compared to a global average of 4 percent. Based on these statistics, it’s clear that the world has a long way to go when it comes to unlocking the gender dividend through the economic empowerment of women.

Author: Gerald Chirinda

Obstacles to women obtaining economic power

Regardless of the nature of employment (formal or informal), this issue needs to be addressed. An enabling environment has to be created at every level of society, starting within households. The home is where attitudes, ideas, values and beliefs are shaped and it is important that parents and guardians instill the right values and beliefs, as they work as enablers and catalysts for their children’s success. A child’s formative years are when cultures and norms are molded. It is important for parents to invest their time and be intentional in positively influencing and encouraging their daughters. It is equally important to teach boys the importance of respecting, honoring and empowering women. A study conducted by Legatum Institute shows that parenting courses are useful for embedding skills and values, however their impact is not being seen at scale due to two reasons – take up is limited and courses are limited in duration.

1). Limited take up is due to:

· Stigma: the politicization of parenting courses has often led the public to associate them with ‘troubled families’ and ‘poor parenting’

· Accessibility: courses should be delivered locally, with childcare provision, and in the evening after work

· Familiarity: parents needed to feel comfortable with the venue of the courses (schools, children’s centre, local church) and with the trainer or facilitators

2. Limited duration is due to:

· Cost: budget cuts have meant many local authorities are cutting back on even low-cost courses. Training is expensive for small charities or private enterprises

· Priority: while some local authorities prioritise parenting, some do not

· Format: due the the format of some of the courses, they become expensive to deliver”

Source: WEF, author Gerald Chirinda

Sweden defended our title in Icehockey World Cup winning the final against Switzerland 3-2 after a penalty shoot out.

Sweden won all games in the tournament and became world champions for the eleventh time.

The Swedish goal keeper Anders Nilsson was the hero of the final game saving four of Switzerlands penalities.

The Swedish coach Richard Grönborg, here after winning the final, did avgreat job with the team. We had four out of six players in the All-Star-Team of the tournament.

We had a number of great NHL players on this team, like Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Patrik Hörnlund and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Great win for Sweden. The Three Crownes are champions for the second year in a row.

USA won the bronze medals after beating Canada.

A group of former cabinet ministers is planning a public intervention to try to show that the Conservative parliamentary party would support a “sensible” Brexit.

Justine Greening, Amber Rudd and Damian Green want to show the prime minister that she would have sufficient support to face down Brexit hardliners in her party.

Newsnight understands that their message has been supported in private by Julian Smith, the government chief whip.

In a pointed intervention, Mr Smith reportedly told members of the cabinet’s Brexit cabinet sub-committee that they should, according to one witness, “get real” about the numbers in parliament.

The former cabinet ministers, who supported Remain in the EU referendum, have decided to act after concluding that it will not be possible to agree a Brexit deal that is accepted by all wings of the Conservative parliamentary party.

Talks with the Brexit-supporting European Research Group (ERG), led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, have persuaded members of the new group that there is little chance of finding common ground.

The group has won the support of some former Leave supporters, though none of these is so far willing to go public. One senior Leaver supporting the new initiative told Newsnight: “The prime minister will have to face down the ERG… maybe she also has to sack a cabinet minister.”

In their discussions the group has decided that Theresa May has crucial numbers at Westminster at two levels:

▪ In the event of a vote of confidence in her leadership, the prime minister would have the support of at least half of the 316 Tory MPs. That would be enough to survive a confidence vote which the ERG could, theoretically, trigger with the support of just 48 MPs.

▪ Parliament as a whole would reject a no deal Brexit. It is calculated that up to 300 of the opposition and independent MPs would join at least 100 Tory MPs in voting down a no deal, passing the 322 MPs needed to secure a parliamentary majority.

A no deal end to the Brexit negotiations is seen as unlikely. But members of the new group believe that highlighting the prospect of such scenario – and how it would be rejected in parliament – can be used to persuade Theresa May that she would have a strong hand if she decided to challenge MPs advocating a no deal.

One senior figure in the new group told Newsnight: “The prime minister is going to have to make a decision. If she comes down on the side of the ERG to keep 60 of them happy that will be unacceptable to us and our numbers are larger.

“In the coming weeks we will be showing what the mainstream is thinking – Leavers and Remainers. This is about identifying a locus, where the mainstream lies to allow the prime minister to land this in the right place.”

But Mr Hannan warned that the UK may be forced to accept a no deal. “No deal is plainly better than a bad deal… Imagine that you were buying a car and you said to the car dealer: ‘I am definitely going to walk out of this showroom with your vehicle, now let’s sit down and haggle about the price.’ That would be a ridiculous position.”

A source in the ERG dismissed the proposed intervention. The source pointed out that seven Brexit-leaning Conservative MPs, who are not in the ERG, would withdraw their support from Theresa May if she negotiated a deal they found unacceptable. This would cancel out her parliamentary majority which she assembled last year with support from the DUP.

BBC Brexit:

Sweden continues to be at the top of the EU’s ranking of member states’ digital maturity. Since last year we have climbed a location – but two years ago we were ranked as number one.

Only Denmark is ahead of us this year’s review of the digital maturity of EU countries. And the Swedes are diligent to use digital services. We put ourselves in the top when it comes to listening to music or watching movies online. And we also have the prerequisites – we are at the forefront of both the expansion of 4g and the proportion of households subscribing to ultra-fast broadband.

Sweden is also high-third in terms of using digital public services. 90 percent of internet users in Sweden submit forms digitally to the authorities.

The reason that Sweden is now getting a better position is that we are doing well in broadband expansion and the citizens’ use of the internet. But a big challenge is still the public sector. Here we need to switch up and offer better digital services in, for example, healthcare and other government contacts. We also need to continue to work actively to cope with the expansion of high-speed broadband in the countryside, “said Peter Eriksson, Minister for Digitalization in a comment.

But it’s not just that gems have a digital everyday life. Sweden is also second largest in terms of the number of IT specialists – after Finland. At the same time, the number of needs we have on long roads does not cover. And the number of graduates in science, engineering, engineering and mathematics is lagging behind many other EU countries.

Even though we remain at the top, we are not moving forward faster than other EU countries. Progress is generally in line with the EU average and other countries in the high-performing cluster are found in the EU report.

THE LIST

1. Denmark

2. Sweden

3. Finland

4. The Netherlands

5. Luxembourg

6. Ireland

7. Great Britain

8. Belgium

9. Estonia

10. Spain

11. Austria

12. Malta

13. Liechtenstein

14. Germany

15. EU in total

16. Slovenia

17. Portugal

18. Czechoslovakia

19. France

20. Latvia

21.Slovakien

22. Cyprus

23. Croatia

24. Hungary

25. Poland

26. Italy

27. Bulgaria

28. Greece

29. Romania

Benedict Cumberbatch ‘Brexit’ Drama Set for Channel 4. Cumberbatch will star in a Channel 4 TV drama about the Brexit vote in the U.K., which will be timed to air as Britain leaves the European Union next March. Cumberbatch will play Dominic Cummings, the leading strategist and campaign director of the Vote Leave movement, which sought to persuade British voters to opt for exiting the EU.

“I am particularly pleased to commission James Graham’s hard-hitting and compulsive drama on how the Brexit vote was won with Benedict Cumberbatch in a new role,” Channel 4’s new programming boss, Ian Katz, said at a Channel 4 event in London, Wednesday. “It will be broadcast just ahead of our formal [exit] from the EU in March, assuming that we actually get around to leaving.”

Graham wrote the stage play “The Vote,” which was set on the night of the general election vote and featured an ensemble cast including Mark Gatiss and Judi Dench. His Channel 4 project “Brexit” will be a 120-minute one-off.

“I’m so excited – not to mention a little nervous – to have this chance to try and get under the skin of what happened during that historic vote,” Graham said. “I hope by going behind-the-scenes of the campaign, we’re able to interrogate the consequences of what happened during these 8 weeks that have changed the country forever.”

Beth Willis, head of drama at Channel 4, added: “James’ whip smart, funny and insightful writing is a breath of fresh air. We are so thrilled that he and the genius that is Benedict Cumberbatch feel Channel 4 is the right home for it – Brexit is exactly the kind of explosive and illuminating drama we want to have on the channel.”

House Productions, the U.K. indie producer created by former Working Title TV boss Juliette Howell and former Film4 head Tessa Ross, will produce “Brexit.” Toby Haynes (“Black Mirror”) will direct. Shooting starts later this year.

Britain and Europe are still grappling with the likely impact Brexit will have. At the Cannes Film Festival last week Margot James, minister for the digital and creative industries told Variety it would not have a significant impact on the U.K. film industry.

I have spent a few days at our Head Office in Gothenburg for Management Team meeting, planning meetings and staff meetings.

Our HQ office is located to Port of Gothenburg in the South West of Sweden.

Today we have 38 offices in 12 countries and we will expand to at least two new countries this year.

It is always good to be back home in our heart of the company, to see colleagues and friends – and to plan the next steps of our business.