Far too often African women are left out of discussions that affect their lives and it’s essential that they be given a voice to call out injustices formed against them.
Last year gender injustices only worsened as they had the freedom to hide in the shadow of the pandemic. While the world ran towards the common goal of securing a vaccine and eradicating COVID-19, this meant that taking care of other significant issues, such as gender inequality, was temporarily put on pause.
It’s no secret that Africa has fallen deeply behind the rest of the world when it comes to achieving the United Nations’ Global Goals, and the goal to achieve gender equality by 2030 is no exception.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the continent had already grappled with deep-rooted gender injustices and was heavily plagued by gender-based violence.
This is not a hopeless situation though — you have the power to take action to make sure that Africa gets back on track to ending gender inequality and empowering women and girls across the continent.
As Paris hosts the Generation Equality Forum this month, world leaders and stakeholders will take a look at the progress being made towards amplifying and achieving women’s rights globally. The forum will prioritise the mission to achieving gender equality by 2030 for all women, everywhere.
You can help Africa’s women gain that voice by taking action with us. Here are a few ways you can step up in the call for gender equality in Africa:
1. Call on the African Union to Prioritise the Economic Justice and Rights of Women and Girls
Job security and financial stability is something that most women around the world have seen slip through their fingers as a result of the pandemic, with women being the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19.
African women are experiencing the worst of this, as 90% of sub-Saharan African women who work in the informal labour force, have had their employment threatened or even terminated as a result of the pandemic.
African leaders have the power to prioritise financial inclusion for women and to promote economic justice and growth for them too.
Tweet the African Union here to make sure that women’s economic rights are at the top of their agenda.
2. Learn Why the Body Autonomy of African Women is Essential to Women Empowerment
Africa has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the world, largely due to a lack of access to healthcare, as well as women not having a say as to what happens to their own bodies.
If women had the access to essential healthcare information as well as healthcare facilities, this rate could drop significantly.
The sexual health and reproductive rights of women need to be taken into account. Take action by learning more about this issue here.
3. Find out How Far Nigeria is on the Mission to Ending Gender-Based Violence
Only 18 of Nigeria’s 36 states have implemented crucial laws against gender-based violence in the country. In the country 30% of women and girls between 15 and 49 have been subjected to some form of GBV, and the situation has become more dire as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Discover what more needs to be done to end GBV in Nigeria by taking this quiz here.
4. Tell Nigeria’s Leaders to Implement this GBV Law
The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act prohibits, criminalises and punishes all forms of violence, and recognises violence against women as a punishable act.
This law has yet to be implemented across all of Nigeria’s states and is necessary to help bring GBV to an end in the country where 3 out of 10 Nigerian women have experienced GBV by the age of 15.
Sign this petition to urge Nigerian state leaders to enforce the VAPP law in their region and to protect the country’s women and girls.