International Women’s Day: African Women #PressForProgress and #TakeTheStage

In commemoration of the 2018 International Women’s Day Celebrations, African Public Relations Association (APRA) celebrates all the women across the continent and beyond. This is a crucial time for women to Re-Present Africa and press for progress in all sphere of life. The percentage of women in politics, managerial positions, leadership and the economy even though minimal, is a call to action for all women across our continent.

Amidst all the happenings in and around the globe, women are trending in their various fields and endeavors. Who hasn’t heard about Miriam Makeba (South African), the First Black African Woman to receive a Grammy Award and Vocal Civil Rights Activists? Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Immediate Past First Female President of Liberia, Amina Mohammad who is currently the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, Chimamnada Adichie, a Writer and Nkosazana Dlamin-Zuma, African Union Chairperson (AUC). These are some of the women Re-PResenting Africa across different fields and boarders.

A quote by Melinda Gates, reiterates the importance of women in politics and it says “In the developing world, it’s about time that women are on the agenda……..”
As we prepare for our annual flagship conference tagged APRA Botswana 2018 and themed ‘Re-PResenting Africa’, we join the #PressForProgress Campaign and call to action as advancing women’s leadership and economic empowerment is a priority for us in APRA. This year marks the 23rd Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and women participation in politics has only increased by 10-12%. Harriet Harman, a prominent political representative in the United Kingdom, argues that “They (women) are central to the new breed of politicians who offer Africa the opportunity for a deeply rooted, uncorrupt democracy”

Take a look at the agricultural, banking, political, Household, entertainment, business Sectors and as many industries you can think of, there are opportunities for women to thrive just as the men. In Rwanda, following the genocide of 1994, it has since taken a lead in including women in the country’s political sphere. Women represent 49% of their national parliament compared to an average of 15.1% for the rest of the world. In the agricultural sector, 80% of small subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are women. In entertainment, women cut the shorts and are the reason for sell outs and profits. The list is endless!

More than a billion women around the world lack legal protection against domestic sexual violence, women representations is nothing close to average and in boardrooms, it is even lower. Without concerted actions and support from all and sundry, more women doing exceptionally well may never give the men a run for their money. It is a world of equality and not disparity.
It is on this note that we celebrate all the African Women across the globe and share some quotes by great African women to ponder as we commemorate this day.
1. “The seed of success on any nation on earth are best planted in women and children”-Former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda
2. ”If your dreams don not scare you they are not big enough”-Immediate Past President of Liberia and Former Nobel Prize Winner, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
3. ”It’s time for a sustainable development agenda”- Current Deputy Secretary- General of UN, Amina Mohammed.
4. ”Men have singled out women of outstanding merit and put them on a pedestal to avoid recognising the capabilities of all women” Activist and Founder of first Egyptian women philanthropic society for women, Huda Sha’arawi
5. ”My femininity and maternal feelings means I can tackle certain problems with lots of realism and sensitivity. I know there are many difficulties problems ahead of me but I truly believe we will succeed”- Former President of the Central African Republic, Catherine Samba-Panza
6.”A lot of us bring up our little boys as princes and our little girls as Cinderella’s who must wait on the princes. Then we realise something is wrong, they should be equal”. Chairperson of African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamin-Zuma

Happy International Women’s Day Celebration!
One Africa!

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