How can I help empower women in Africa?

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It is day 4 of the #30dayblog challenge, if you have stumbled upon this post and don’t know what this is all about, here is yesterday’s

So today’s task is all about answering a question that someone could be asking on Google right now. In answering this question would like to draw from a workshop I attended   in London recently. The Workshop was  organised by Global community links and VSO learning. The workshop was entitled


The audience was mostly made up of community organisations here in the UK that have linked up with community projects in the developing world, interestingly enough the only organizations that turned up were those working in Africa.

In thinking about how we can help empower women in Africa it is worth looking at the issue of gender equality and here are some interesting facts that we discussed at the workshop  last Saturday

  1. 66%  of the world’s work is done by women
  2. 50% of the world’s food is produced by women
  3. women only earn 10% of the world’s income
  4. women only own 1% of the world’s property
  5. 28% of women in Arab countries participate in the workforce
  6. 1 in 5 women worldwide are likely to be victims of rape or attempted rape in their life time
  7. men in Mexico devote 6 hours to household chores whilst Mexican women in paid employment dedicate an additional 33 hours to domestic chores
  8. Rwanda has the highest women parliamentarians in the world

In seeking to empower African women in Africa a starting point would be addressing the issues raised above as well as  and the UN’s  Goal 3 of the MDGs.

In African women play a vital role in the economic development of African countries, they can be found in the informal sector and in some countries  this is the highest source of revenue, they can be found in the food production sector and at markets trying to eek out an income for their families. This role should be recognised and acknowledged.

In seeking to empower women in Africa I would look at cultures that do not serve us and breach the human rights of African women and these include

  1. Female genital mutilation
  2. Breast ironing
  3. the fattening of girls to make them more appealing as brides
  4. excluding girls from education

The exclusion of girls/women from education is especially worrying as it means

  1. a life of poverty
  2. being excluded from social and political participation
  3. the inability to negotiate safe sex in relationships and the dangers of this
  4. exclusion from formal employment
  5. poor health for the children

This is a wide topic that raises a wide range of issues that cannot be covered within the scope of this post but I hope you get the picture and in conclusion the key issue that must be addressed in empowering African women in  ACCESS TO EDUCATION

I would be interested in your views on this topic so please leave a comment here


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