Women in Africa play an important in the society. According to recent estimation, African woman constitute nearly 70 percent of the agricultural labor and produce about 90 percent of all food. In today’s world not only is the woman responsible for carrying out household duties and child bearing, she is also the most important educator to her children.

African women have also taken up the challenge of not only maintain relationships in the family but also in their societies. They have become strong and influential in our societies. For example, some countries in Africa are being led by women i.e. they are presidents and ministers. One may want to compare an African woman’s strength to that of an ox. However one may argue that the strength of an ox is limited to the physical realm, the best comparison would be a lion. A lion has strong courage, strategic goes after its desires and gets what it wants.

Today African women are economic agents, campaign agents/managers they are not limited to domestic duties anymore. Thus, African women often carry on their shoulders, in every sense of the term, the economic health of African societies. All roles ascribed to African women give them a certain prestige thereby her courage befitting that of a lion.

African women and education

Education is a human right essential to economic and social progress. In Africa the rate of illiteracy of woman is still a predicament. This is so because she draws the framework of relations between the different components of society as in some cultures people do not see the need to educate a woman. The only education she can get is domestic education preparing her to be a wife and a mother. However, this is gradually changing. Organisation such as U.N.E.S.C.O and Association Against Illiteracy in Africa have launched campaigns against illiteracy of women in African societies.

African women and economy

The African economy is essentially based on woman. According to recent OECD estimations, women constitute nearly 70% of the agricultural labor and produce about 90% of all food. The economic activity rate (which measures the percentage of people whose hard work ensures the production of economic goods) shows that African women’s contribution is 61.9%. In actual fact African women’s contribution is higher than other parts of the world.

African women and emancipation

The emancipation of African woman is lately a problem for Africans countries. It is true that for some time, the focus is on the appropriate role of woman in emergence a state where gender equality reign. However, African women are no long the victims; they are determined to change their situations. Tentatively, they raise their heads, young women are participating in forums initiated and led by other women.

In some parts of the world, a woman’s abilities are underestimated. Some people have been assigned the task of shaking the mental inertia and forge a political career but it is all the more difficult. Yet throughout Africa, the number of combatants from the political arena from year to year stuff: they are ambassadors, ministers…

In the field of political advancement of women, the countries of southern Africa (English and Portuguese) have a clear lead over the states of West Africa and the French Centre: 24% of MPs on average in parliaments national for the first against only 11% for the latter.

Powerful women in Africa

With the emancipation of woman there has been a strong rises in strength of different woman like President Joyce Banda of Malawi. She is the second woman to lead an African country e have the Gambian Fatou Bensouda who is a prosecutor of criminal court international.

Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita is one of the most educated women in history. Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, often referred to as the Queen of Johannesburg steel, her ascension is one ofthe most dazzling that Africa has known. She leads the South African subsidiary of steel giant, Arcelor-Mittal Group….

In conclusion, educate a woman is to educate the whole nation. African woman educated or not is an important pillar for the development of Africa, she deserves respect.

Leila Lamou

* This article was taken from “Africa Time” magazine (November 2014 Edition) by demanding all necessary permissions for copyright.

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