activists in the South West region have been challenged to change their mindsets and help empower fellow women in order to quickly achieve gender parity.
The call was made by Abunaw Olive, Founder and Executive Director of Ngore Africa Centre for Women Empowerment during commemorations marking the Pan African Day of the Woman in Limbe.
She urged women to exhibit the positive power in them by looking after themselves. “… for them to be one another’s keeper with genuine concern, that’s the mindset that will boost African women empowerment from the core of our hearts”
Women rights’ awareness discussions have always focused on the African setting because of the chauvinistic view of women most traditions and religions.
Thus women were also challenged on the need to help awaken the immense potentials in their peers. “Every woman must have the longing in her heart to make a difference to herself first then her community,” Abunaw said.
The African women as a parent, guardian and young women were called upon to encourage their female children, sisters, nieces and cousins to dive into Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics (STEM), given the many opportunities available for employment in the science and technology world and with more women in Africa’s population, this would boost economic growth and sustainable development.
Women were also educated to overcome the obstacles to women empowerment such male dominance and male chauvinism which has negatively impacted women.
These cultures have left women to bare the burdens of domestic violence, sexual violence and under representation in the political social and economic fabric of the society.to overcome this barriers, Tata Nelly, founder of #AfreekanPride, urged women to do more and talk less with actions.
“The African woman must empower and equip herself economically, politically, socially, and technologically so that she can perform skillfully and bring change in her society,” Tata stated.
It is through our performance as African women that our worth and values are proven and we believe by our actions as women those cultural clauses that downgrade the African woman will be revised and the mindset of believers in such cultural clauses will be renewed and as a result the African woman will be given her rightful place.
The commemorative activity was an opportunity for women rights activists to educate themselves on issues ranging from understanding how to overcome cultural barriers that limit women to knowing and understanding technological tools to avert abuse.
On her part, Marité Atah Efamba implored women to break the silence on rape and other forms of gender based violence suffered by their peers. According to her, women can find strength by speaking up amongst themselves so that they can seek for support even amongst themselves in the face of difficulties.