How 21st-century African Women are Driving Economic Growth and Leveling the Playing Field
It is widely said that if you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation. This saying remains true in present day African societies where hundreds of thousands of women entrepreneurs are driving economic growth.
In 1995, the World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing, China, reaffirmed that no sustainable national development can be achieved unless women are given an equal right to education. Education is an integral part of every individual’s life. When girls are educated, countries become stronger and prosperous.
In the past, women were stereotyped into traditional roles where their responsibilities were limited to marriage, raising children, and carrying out domestic chores. Therefore, their success in life completely depended on the efficiency with which they played these “roles” as wives and mothers.
It was widely believed that a woman’s knowledge is acquired through informal education, and such, do not need school, given that the education system does not offer the skills suitable for carrying out the responsibilities of a mother.
The story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot on October 9, 2012, in the head by Taliban gunmen — her “crime”, to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated, shows the extent to which enemies can go to suppress the voice of women in our society.
It was also erroneously believed that the level of education of women should be lower than that of their husbands.
In the last two decades, the narrative seems to be changing with women gradually finding their voice in families, communities, boardrooms, and even in political circles. They have become the catalysts of social transformation, not more important than men, but rather, with the same dignity and socio-economic stature…
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Olufikayo Owoeye. You may read the entire piece on Joomag. It’s on page 32 of our 50 Most Influential Women in Business edition. Follow this link.
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