Women make up more than 50 percent of Africa’s population and are more active as economic agents in Africa than anywhere else in the world. They perform the majority of agricultural activities, own a third of all firms, and in some countries make up some 70 percent of the active workforce.
Over and above their income-earning activities, they are central to the household equilibrium and the welfare of their families, and they play a vital if sometimes unacknowledged leadership role in their communities and nations. Yet across Africa, women face an array of barriers to achieving their full potential, from restrictive cultural practices to discriminatory laws and highly segmented labor markets.
To celebrate the resilience and resourcefulness of West African women, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa in 2016 launched a campaign dubbed Everybody’s Business: Women’s Rights in West Africa. The campaign sought to celebrate West African women, showcase their daily triumphs and travails, garner public empathy, inform and stimulate conversations, and highlight the benefits of fully including and empowering women.
This screening of the documentary film Extraordinary Women of West Africa will be followed by a brief discussion of the campaign, women’s rights in the region, and the Open Society Foundations’ work on these issues.
A light reception and cocktail will follow.
- Sylvain Cherkaoui is a Dakar-based photojournalist.
- Makh Keita is a musician and humanitarian.
- Afia Asare Kyei is program manager for equality, justice, and human rights at the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
To RSVP for this event, please contact: [email protected].