In recent years, African women and girls have emerged as leaders on the local, national, and global levels across a variety of arenas—in politics, business, home, academia, science, medicine and more—at a time when recent gains in women and girl’s education, health, and livelihoods have reversed. Indeed, women’s leadership in Africa is not a new phenomenon. Throughout Africa’s history, women have been problem-solvers and pivotal players in the transformation of the continent. Unfortunately, barriers still stand in the way of African women and girls’ advancements, meaning that global and African leaders must increase their investments in women and girls and ensure they have access to quality education, are economically empowered, and can freely participate in all levels of government.
As part of the Foresight Africa event series, and in honor of International Women’s Day, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative hosted a discussion on the leadership of African women and girls on March 11. The panel reflected on the contributions of African women to the region’s development and explore the role of women in, among other arenas, cabinets, parliaments, municipal governments, industry, academia, and the health sector, as well as strategies for pursuing gender equality in political leadership, among other topics.
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Chair and President - Big Win Philanthropy
Professor of Economics - University of Johannesburg
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