Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
This year, we celebrated Women’s Month by hosting two Global Women’s Summits in South Africa and Kenya. In fact, the Global Women’s Summit Kenya took place on August 9th, which is a day designated as a National Women’s Day in South Africa, and celebrated throughout the month.
While some African countries have implemented healthy conditions, positive programmes and other efforts that are showing remarkable success in women’s empowerment over the years, gender equality continues to be a real challenge. In order to promote the healthy growth of entrepreneurial activities and opportunities for women in Africa, it is important that we recognise the socio-cultural environment that creates obstacles institutionally, legally, financially, culturally and politically, otherwise women will continue to pay the price.
It is also critical for women themselves to recognise opportunities and most importantly to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. This point was raised by Dr. Manu Chandaria from KEPSA in Nairobi. Essentially, Kenya is one of the African countries that are supportive to women’s entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment initiatives in general. However, not many women are taking advantage of these positive conditions. The majority of women are not leaning in or taking the centre stage according to Dr. Chandaria.
However, what I found interesting is that more Kenyan women leave full-time employment to start their own business ventures than South African women do. One of the topics discussed at the Global Women’s Summit in South Africa included society’s stereotypes on gender roles and how mothers raise boys. This topic was timely and very relevant to South Africa as young women and girls continue to become targets of violence.
Nelson Mandela once said education is the most powerful weapon to change the world, but education as a weapon seems impossible for young women who fall victim to rape at institutions of higher learning in the country; the very institutions that are supposed to afford them a better future.
More nations should really start creating conducive conditions for women, because when women are protected and economically empowered they become active in the economy; they become business owners, employers and even investors. Women tend to invest a much higher part of their earnings in their families and communities than men do; therefore creating a direct positive impact in their nations.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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