For what seems like years unending, the fate of African women has suffered immensely almost on every area. The heart-striking, painful part of this fate is the near powerlessness of the African woman, her inability to recognize her abilities and potentials, talk less of her usage of them. It is quite clear that what you do not know you posses, you cannot use. On the other hand, with the upcoming booming recognition of potentials by the African woman in the 21st century, these potentials remain unused as resources are not being made available to women.
Empowerment can, for the purpose of this context, mean “measures put in place to increase the degree of autonomy and self determination in people and communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way”.
Women’s empowerment refer to the empowerment of women, enabling them to fully access personal or collective power, authority and influence and to employ that strength when engaging with other people, institutions or society.
While women’s empowerment has been treated using several approaches over the years; including social empowerment, economic empowerment, political empowerment and so on, one very critical approach has been lacking, which is the approach through culture.
Cultural empowerment focuses on the way of life, made up of every day things, which includes languages, spiritual beliefs etc. It includes being free to engage freely in a globalized digital system, with full confidence of your culture.
I strongly stand to say that women empowerment should be conscientiously and well examined and tabled with all thoroughness through culture, as this will seek to juxtapose narratives, languages and diverse cultural identities as part of a broad educational project that wishes to undermine the hierarchial social divisions and classifications created by the modernist mentality.
In spite of all forms of empowerment for African women put it in place, many African women do not feel confident that they can live in time either with time or with place, they feel caught up by a contemporary observer of the western scene.
Strategies to women empowerment through culture;
*Address the problem
*Identify potential obstacles and work to remove them
*Watch for signs of success
*Apply the strategy.
The above should, from personal opinion help in the empowerment of the African woman through culture, following the principles laid down by UN;
Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination
Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
I stand with African women, I believe in African women’s empowerment through culture. Yes we can!