African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 official launch

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 womens 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. :)

Before you do, let’s share thoughts on the AWD. You can email me or drop a comment. It’s a great initiative isn’t it?

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  • Shiko (The Green Calabash)

    Shame on me, I had NO idea about the AWD. I’m glad to hear about it, I think it’s a great initiative. As far as contributions to the movement go, while I agree that there’s PLENTY to be done on the development front, I’d also like to see us rally behind the amazing african women trying to make a name for themselves in fashion, music, writing, acting, etc. They get sidelined way too easily and if we don’t sing their praises, who will?

    • MsAfropolitan

      Absolutely! I aim to contribute to that here by blogging about all the many fantastic African women in diverse fields. I think the question of role models is one which is really important to the AWD.
      What is fantastic about this initiative is that it spans a long enough time to develop a project.
      Thanks Shiko!

  • busi

    I hope that this intiative collorates with a movement of African/Black and women of colour recognising challenges ahead of us , our responsibilities towards these challenges and also our potential to solve these challenges if we combine efforts

    • MsAfropolitan

      Indeed. I think on a level it’s beneficial to have the distinction between African men and women because the challenges ahead are to certain extents different. I hope too that it will generate a movement of true support

      Thanks Busi, hope you’re well.

  • Vickii

    I didn’t know about African Women’s Decade *smacking myself on the wrist* but that’s why I read your blog, for an alternative yet just as important education 😀 It definitely makes me think though – way before the end of this decade, I’d like to have made a (or preferably several) contributions! Watch this space :)

    • MsAfropolitan

      That makes me smile Vickii, thank you, I look fwd to discussing ideas with you.

  • MBA

    I need to restart writing regularly on my blog! This initiative is too important not to be a part of. And I think you may be right about being in the diaspora vs. being on the ground. Being at home I feel like I’m on holiday, I am much more effective when I am away. Of course that is a personal thing, a combo of people abroad and at home is needed to really get Africa moving forward consistently. We African women need to take ownership and be at the forefront of making this decade a success otherwise we shall be forever a fringe group.

    • MsAfropolitan

      HUG!! This is how I feel too! I feel it’s a great opportunity to unite us and help to bridge gaps for development.
      And there is no limitation because of ones location, it should ideally be a joint effort.
      Resume the blog!

  • beeladonna

    History in the making! How very exciting!!
    The African Women Decade oozes of motivation, possibilities and power!
    I have always felt some if not a lot of African women are mentally crippled regarding their capabilities in life as a whole.
    I donate my clothes a lot! I feel awful when I look at what I don’t wear anymore and I think about those who can’t afford what they need to appear decent in, to keep warm etc. I only keep my favourites. Although I am not usually able to send them back home (even though when I do go back I barely return back to the UK with anything :-D), do you know of any African charity in the UK? I would love to continuously donate clothes there. Maybe divide the donations .. autumn/winter batch get donated here … spring/summer batch to (Nigeria) …

    I’ll be back when I am able to whip up something to fully dedicate to the movement. Until then i’ll keep donating. Let us know of more people involved please so we can keep supporting and making a difference!!!

    :-) xx

  • beeladonna

    Awesome thank you so much, I’ll definitely check them out!!

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  • Jacqueline


    This is WONDERFUL News… I’d love to post it on my site. Thanks for sharing this inspirational message!

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  • Lesley Agams

    The boutique is a really cool initiative. I hope I find more individual initiatives around AWD.

    There is so little awareness about it. Not just in the rural areas. Even among development workers and activists.