African Women’s Decade 2010-2020
One of the most wonderful things about the Internet is its portal to the entire universe. This gateway is available for us to discover brand new information that can inspire and cause us to become motivated to think in new directions and ultimately take action on our thoughts and ideas.
While doing some social networking on Twitter, I discovered a magnificent site by Minna Salami. Minna was born in Finland, grew up in Nigeria and studied in Sweden. She has also lived and worked in Spain and New York and currently resides in London. Ms. Salami loves learning new languages and speaks five (if you count, in shy German).
She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Lund in Sweden and is currently completing an MA in Gender Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London.
Her blog, MsAfropolitan (miss Afropolitan) is a culture-analytical lifestyle blog containing observations from a cosmopolitan African woman’s perspective.
This particular post caught my eye. It was posted on October 14, 2010.
It’s the launch of the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 today.
Yes, a whole decade dedicated to us, recognized by the UN (United Nations) and AU (African Union) and supported by a manifesto called the Maputo protocol. Did you know about it? No? Shame on you.
OK, it’s not actually your fault, after all we have become reliant on the CNN or the BBC or their likes informing us about what we need to know and they surely haven’t been talking about this remarkable event.
The short of it all is that the African Women’s Decade (AWD) 2010-2020 is about empowering a group, which has been marginalized by global and regional socio-politics.
I am writing this post to raise three important points.
Firstly, the people responsible for making this decade a success is us, me and you. It is in our interest to raise awareness of this campaign, so that in ten years time, the hard work of those who made this happen won’t be in vain.
Secondly, I am writing this to raise a common concern amongst diasporans, namely that we feel like unless we move back home, our capability to assist in development issues is limited. As a result, we postpone working on development projects, which in return makes us feel guilty.
My aim is not to discourage anyone from returning to Africa, because the brain drain from the continent is a concern. However, controversial a thought as this may be, the fact is that some of us, depending on what work we do, are better equipped to succeed in the diaspora. Successful people (financially and mentally) are ultimately better suited to help others.
Last but most importantly, I am writing this post to raise awareness and hopefully start a discussion about ways to contribute to the AWD, because that is what this needs to be, a discussion. There is no authoritative group of people dictating the methodology. Rather, anyone, male or female, black or white, who is interested in contributing can do so.
How can we contribute? Well, that’s the question for discussion. Some suggestions would be to donate and/or volunteer for organisations that campaign against issues like FGM (female genital mutilation), child marriage, rape as a war tool, hiv spreading to name only some. There are thousands of organisations campaigning such matters. We could donate old clothes, books, laptops etc. to women’s centres when we travel back home. We can hold fundraising events. We can link our entrepreneurial goals to the AWD. I launched the MsAfropolitan Boutique in tribute of the AWD, for example.
Whatever we do is great; no matter how small or big, the most important thing is that we are aware of this notable landmark in the development of African women’s progress because it is from awareness that ideas are born.
Right, I never said this blog wasn’t going to be heavy occasionally.
But remember, ultimately the AWD is something to celebrate so have a great weekend folks, make a toast to the launch.