A couple of weeks ago more than 3000 delegates gathered at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Kigali to discuss new strategies to tackle poverty, underdevelopment, and in general Africa’s progress.
Following this meeting, the UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, published an OpEd titled Women’s Role in the Next 50 Years – the Africa We Want.
Below are the six key things Mlambo-Ngcuka says that African women want for the future as highlighted in The Guardian:
1. Women of Africa want to live in a peaceful continent in which there are no widows as a result of senseless killings and war, a continent in which they are not sexually abused and violated and in which suffering is not caused by the self-interest of a few corrupt and power hungry leaders. Instead, they want to be a force that creates cohesive and peaceful societies; that builds generations of prosperity and welfare for.
2. We want an Africa which is a common and equitable market place, where laws of the market are not manipulated but shaped to permit entry and benefit for all. A continent where women are empowered to transform their subsistence farms to businesses that supply food, income and enable them to create wealth, assets and move into business leadership.
3. African women want to be recognised, not as vulnerable members of society in need of charity but as a formidable force that needs to be released, empowered and massively invested in to fulfil their potential, drive growth, development and food security to phenomenal levels and ultimately reach their destiny. Women want to be an equal part of the force that makes decisions in social, political, economic and cultural affairs.
4. The young women of Africa want to be considered not just as leaders of tomorrow but leaders today, with the ability to champion innovations in technology, agriculture, industry and societal welfare.
5. We want an Africa where Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment is recognised as an important agenda for all, not just for women. Remember, when women are empowered, their husbands, sons and daughters and even their communities are empowered.
6. We want men to commit to and join us in finding solutions that will make the 21st Century a century in which gender-based discrimination is truly eliminated.
I don’t know about you but I don’t think I can wait 50 years for these things to fall into place. I am actually ashamed that we are still having some of these conversations but we must continue to PUSH: Persist Until Something Happens.