Women outnumber men in many societies around the world. And denying women the right to work simply means that they will be unable to contribute to wealth creation. Instead, they would be completely reliant on men, becoming liabilities rather than the useful members of society they are supposed to be.

For many years in Africa, this was the case; a time when many women simply stayed at home as housewives, while their husbands worked. Things have changed dramatically in the twenty-first century. However, there is still much work to be done. According to the latest MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs released last month, only 13 countries are ranked among the 65 most progressive countries for women entrepreneurs.

Before we get to the list, here’s something to think about: Women entrepreneurs currently contribute approximately 37% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product or GDP. They accomplish this by working in their local grocery stores, as professional healthcare providers, or by launching their startups.

It should be noted that the MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs aims to provide a global perspective on the progress women are making in the business world. The ranking is based on socioeconomic factors that either encourage or discourage female entrepreneurs.

The index, according to MasterCard, used 12 indicators and 27 sub-indicators to determine the following: advancement outcomes for female entrepreneurs, knowledge assets and financial access, and, most importantly, entrepreneurial supporting conditions.

At the end of the evaluation, 65 countries were ranked as the best for female entrepreneurs, beginning with the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, which ranked in the top three positions. Meanwhile, only 13 of the 56 countries are in Africa. The countries are listed below in the order in which they appeared on the list.

  1. Botswana: This Southern African country ranked 35 on the global index. It is the first African country with the highest ranking on the index.
  2. South Africa: Next on the list is South Africa which ranked number 37 on the global index.
  3. Ghana: Next up is this West African country which came in at number 48 on the global index.
  4. Madagascar: This island country took the 50th position on the global index.
  5. Uganda: Next to Ghana is Uganda which ranked number 52 on the global index.
  6. Nigeria: Africa’s most populous country ranked number 53 on the global index of best countries for women entrepreneurs.
  7. Ethiopia: Africa’s second most populous country came in at number 54.
  8. Angola: Angola took the 55th position on the global index.
  9. Tunisia: This North African country came next at 56.
  10. Morocco: Morocco ranked number 59 on the global index.
  11. Algeria: Algeria followed next at number 60.
  12. Malawi: Malawi came in at number 63.
  13. Egypt: Finally, we have Egypt at number 64.

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