Girls & Women Power
For the vast majority of Africans, it is yet to be second nature to see women playing power roles or roles generally perceived to be for men. For example, when a woman is seen driving an 18-wheeler truck, it becomes headlines in the news. I believe a time is coming where girls and women in general will be neck and neck in their aptitude to execute tasks that were stereotypically reserved for men. This article is going to explore initiations by various organizations and examples of women who have been able to climb the power ladder and make an impact.
USAID has created a project called Power Africa and the aim of this project is to create opportunities for women to play a vital role in the energy sector in Africa. USAID has continued to create other projects like Women in Rwandan Energy (WIRE) with partners from the ministries, several universities and development partners with the commitment to increase women’s participation in the energy sector. WIRE provides career awareness and technical skills training as well as mentorship opportunities to prepare women for this male dominated sector and support their advancement.
Another organization paving the way to increase the opportunities for women and girls is Black Girls Code. This organization aims to train girls in the area of Science, Tech, Engineering and Math (STEM). They have taught about 20,000 girls now with about 2000 volunteers who are working together to run the project. Their aim is to train a million girls by 2040. According to Black Girls Code’s website, “women and girls make up 70% of the people living on less than $1/day”. Also, they hold less than 14% of the executive officer positions of fortune 100 companies and represent less than 1% of startup founders. It is for this reason Black Girls Code decided to establish the organisation to bridge this technological divide.
To shed some light on how far women can go given the opportunity, take Rasheeda Mandeeya, a Ghanaian with a passion for technology. Growing up in the northern part of Ghana where the stereotypical ideas of women still hold, like limited education for girls, she was able to break free and pursue her desired course in Computer Science in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). While there, she built a number of applications like a web browser. Right after finishing school, she founded her own company, leading and building Nasara Mobile and the Nasara voting system among other custom applications according to client’s needs. Her passion fueled her to co-found the social intervention program for girls called Tech Needs Girls which is an interactive workshop for girls in Ghana. She’s currently part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship program and hopes to build a platform to network with other African leaders to make change.
Black Girls Code. (n.d.). Black girls code. Retrieved August 24, 2021, from https://www.blackgirlscode.com/about-us/
Sanatu Zambang Studios. (2015, May 30). Rasheeda Mandeeya Yehuza Has A Vision. Rafiufishbone.Blogspot.Com. https://rafiufishbone.blogspot.com/2015/05/rasheeda-mandeeya-yehuza-has-vision.html
USAID. (2021, March 16). EMPOWERING AND POWERING WOMEN. USAID.Gov. https://www.usaid.gov/powerafrica/gender