Strong Women of Africa was first blogged on November 25, 2020 as part of The Strong Women Series. The first of the Series highlighted my favorite Strong Women of The Bible. In honor of International Women’s Day, and celebrating all women globally during the month of March being Women’s Month, I will re-blog the Series throughout the remainder of March. Read along, even if you read the initial post of each section of the Series, as changes may have been made.
We congratulate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI), the newly-appointed General of World Trade Organization. Madam NOI was actually included in the initial blog though in an acting capacity.
As you may, or may not, know, Africa is a continent comprising of fifty-five 55) countries spread across its northern, southern, central, eastern, and western regions; each having seven (7), five (5), seven (7), twenty (20), and seventeen (16) countries respectively. Nigeria is the most populous African country with 206 million. For countries that make up each region, please click here.
This information is necessary to help visualize the magnitude of people that we are attempting to highlight. It is impossible to include every strong woman of the continent. As previously stated, in our initial blog of the Series, several strong women are unknown. Most are heads of their households. Those who are married are overworked and inadequately compensated or not compensated at all. Those in the workforce are still grossly underpaid compared to their male counterparts working the same job.
In my research, I found a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) interactive map of Women in African History. I love the interactives; I hope you do too. Unfortunately, this interactive lists only 32 women; one woman per country highlighted. There were 23 countries that did not have any woman highlighted. Click on the link above for the interactive map and on the picture to view details of the woman.
We know that there are tons of Strong Women of Africa than the referenced interactive showcased. But I would rather not burden you with the encyclopedic information of these Strong Women. As you read, if you know or have heard of any Strong Woman, kindly include her in the comment.
The above highlights Historic Strong Women of Africa. This link, courtesy of Forbes, showcases modern notable Strong Women of Africa. Again, the list might not be exhaustive. Include other known names you’ve either read about, heard, or known in the comments.
African Women, like their global counterparts have defied several odds to attain their current pinnacles. From the first African female Head of State, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (there has since been other African female Heads of States), to Asnath Mahapa, the first African woman to become a pilot in South Africa, to Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first African woman to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), African Women continue to graciously stamp their footprints on the sands of time. Yet, there are still more Strong African Women needed to rise up and/or pass the baton on. I salute your courage and thank you for paving the way.
Happy International Women’s Day.