Championing an Inclusive Women’s Empowerment Agenda in West Africa
The indispensable role of women in West African societies, especially their participation in economic and sociopolitical activities, has been a subject of interest among varying groups including governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), and individuals worldwide (AbdulFatawu, 2014). Over the years, discrete stakeholders have dedicated effort, shown great compassion, and commitment through the development of feminist policies, and the ratification of varied international protocols to promulgate and protect the right of women and girls. Fundamentally, ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it is also crucial for inclusive empowerment and fostering a sustainable future.
Firstly, if women’s empowerment is geared to deconstruct the predominant African patriarchy system that limits women’s efforts to attain better livelihood, how do we make sure that our efforts do not result in the establishment of a matriarchy system? Furthermore, what would be the ultimate impact of persistent isolation of men by women in fostering women’s empowerment agendas in West Africa? It goes further to proffer feasible ways by which key stakeholders can reposition themselves to realise an inclusive women’s empowerment engagement as a means to an end. This research argues that women-led organisations and women’s movements in West Africa can attain their objectives by empowering the male gender in the process, even when priorities geared towards the empowerment of women and the girl child remain at the epicentre of their mission and actions.
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