The African woman and her culture cannot be separated; for it is her identity, her uniqueness, which crowns her beauty. The African culture has over time undergone and is still undergoing evolution. Thus providing the African woman a platform for continuous empowerment, upon which more can be achieved with regards to the opportunities available on a global scale using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Indeed, harmonising the empowerment provided for African women via her culture with the aforementioned opportunities will give her equal platform to stand amidst her global counterparts.
Various industries could be traced to the very root of African culture such as arts and crafts, music, dance, drama, hair-making (braids) etc. These are all largely female-dominated lines of business in traditional African settings.
For example, in the Western part of Nigeria, popular fabrics like the aso-oke and adire (tye and dye) are made by women who most times use these fabrics for making cloths of different kinds, head-gears etc. which till date is still in vogue in all parts of Nigeria.
And yes, men always turn out handsome in these gorgeous African fabrics! Owing to this utility, income can be generated by women who make and sell them.
Braids is an integral part of the African culture. In times past it was used to tell who a person is. For example, popular amongst the Yoruba tribe is a hairstyle called shuku and it was strictly for married women! That’s identity.
With the use of modern day attachments, braids have never been more fashionable, attractive and economical to make. It is now a globally acceptable style of hair-making with mobile applications on how to make them. This is one world-class way of empowering African women in a digitalized global system.
Arts and crafts in African societies has been a medium of communication helping us share our story to the world and generations to come. This can be digitally harnessed for global relevance.
Arts and Crafts
African music, dance and drama is taking the world stage and women in the entertainment industry are thus empowered. African female artistes like Tiwa Savage, Kafe, Genevieve Nnaji etc are stunning at what they do, breaking new grounds. All these skillful women are beneficiaries of globalisation. The internet and mass media aid their popularity and thus provide international recognition, asides the pay. This can be of great significance to other women in this line of passion as a means of empowerment.
Conclusively, ICT cuts across all facets of human lifestyle and the African woman needs to take advantage of this for her empowerment, but not without formal education, easy and quality access to the internet, good government policies and financial support, so as to empower her in her field or skill or even train her. Asides her root cultural empowerment, the world as a global village has made the internet, a part of her culture and she can be empowered via this, with regards to active online presence.