Recent IMF and World Bank Groups reports indicate an accelerating economic growth in Africa. The projections indicate an upward rise from 3.1% in 2018 to 3.6% in 2019. That is good news for Africa. A lot of strategies are focused to bring about this growth. One of these positive and effective strategies is empowering African women. Thus, they can positively contribute to the economy.
Some of the ways of empowering women in Africa include;
Advocating for women’s rights
Women’s rights prohibit any form of discrimination that’s based on sex. Before the drafting of women’s rights, women were limited by the law. They could not enjoy nor exercise their potential fully. For example, some communities could not allow a woman to own land, inherit property, or even spin the steering of a car. Currently, a woman has a right to inherit land. She can purchase and own property.
Traditionally, a woman’s role was to bear children and stay at home to take care of them. The man would go out to work and provide for the family. These perceptions have changed, especially with the current rise of single women. Women are out there providing for their families with or without a husband. At the same time, managing daily house chores by employing nannies.
Education was traditionally meant for the boy child only. Now, education is a human right for every child. The girl child has equal access to education to the highest level available. Hence, they can now occupy any professional office with respect to their academic qualifications. They can similarly participate in government policies. As such, empowering women has become easy.
2. Doing away with child marriages.
African countries have the highest rates of early girl child marriages. Early girl child marriages violate their rights. This is because they deny them an opportunity to pursue education. On top of that, early marriages risk their lives during childbearing because of their tender age. It also traumatizes them psychologically.
The practice is being fought forcefully by the present governments. Vulnerable girls are sheltered in safe rescue centers. In doing so, we are assured they continue with their education without interruptions.
3. Empowering women through social media
Social media has opened global access to information, which is both interactive and engaging. Through social media, women can interact with other women. Hence, they educate each other on matters affecting women.
It has brought awareness, especially regarding feminist ideologies. It has also voiced the woman’s abilities and success to the public.
4. Setting up small businesses
Most women, especially those with children, would love to do business. One that allows them to have a close watch of their children. Such businesses are those that can be done from home or within the nearest market place in their area. Some of these businesses may require training, learning a skill, and capital.
Governments and NGO’s are of great help to train and facilitate such business. Businesses like fishing, beekeeping, tailoring, online marketing are run successfully by African women.
5. Technology and Energy
Over 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, limiting their access to information and opportunities. Access to affordable solar power technology and energy empowers businesses. This, therefore, improving their living standards.
American woman rapper Akon has played a significant role in empowering women by providing low-cost solar power to over 14 countries in Africa.
Empowering a woman is empowering a family. This eventually empowers a community. The community, in return, affects the nation positively. As a result, this contributes to the continued growth of the economy of Africa.