Will 2014 Be The Year Of The African Woman?

The year 2013 highlighted the remarkable achievements of female leaders on the continent and in the diaspora. We saw a heightened interest in power women who have otherwise been understated. From politics to fashion and business, African women are making a mark in different spheres, continually challenging the stereotype which depicts African women as subservient, weak and meant to be seen but not heard.

African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence

~ Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmental and political activist

The saying ?behind every successful man is a great woman? can be said in reverse; we have celebrated powerful women who attribute much of their success to their better halves who have complimented and supported them including South Africa?s Dr. Precious Motsepe, Ethiopia?s Anna Getaneh and Nigeria?s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In 2013 we celebrated women who as pioneers, drove innovative ideas including African luxury connoisseur, Swaady Martin-Leke who is currently redefining the way African luxury is perceived around the world; Ola Orekunrin, a medical doctor of Nigerian descent whose company The Flying Doctors is the first air ambulance service in West Africa that provides urgent medical care and Uganda?s Alengot Oromait, who at the age of twenty is recognized as the youngest member of parliament in the history of politics on the continent.

We continued to make note of changemakers like Saran Kaba Jones, No?lla Coursaris and Agatha Achindu who are giving back to others as passionately as they have received.

The rise of women in business, from South Africa?s Khanyi Dhlomo and Nigeria’s Tara Fela-Durotoye to Uganda?s Patricia Mawa, has proven that African women can have it all as they build successful careers as managers and entrepreneurs while raising families of their own. We cannot forget breakout “it” girl, Lupita Nyong’o who gave an electrifying performance in Steve McQueens, 12 years a Slave.

For every individual recognized, there remains many more who are yet to receive due mention. The global hope is that this recognition lays the precedent that helps to empower ALL African women, regardless of their status, to achieve their inherent greatness. We look forward to recognizing more super stars in 2014.

Cheers to a great year!

Image: Canva

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