5 Organizations to Power You Up This Year
On the journey to empowering the womenfolk in every sector of a society, the roles that initiatives and organizations play can never be under-emphasized. Behind the establishment of every woman-empowering initiative lies goals targeted for women; such goals revolve around how women can break barriers set by themselves and by society. A good number of trusted empowerment programs give women an avenue to build self-confidence, to change the narrative of being ‘weaker’, an opportunity to level up and speak up for what they believe in. Some may serve as a foundation for personal and financial growth. Others are founded to create opportunities for women to thrive as mothers through mental and maternal health advocacy.
For example, The Amazing Woman (T.A.W.), which is my social enterprise, fosters the empowerment, representation, and sustainability of new mothers in the Nigerian economy, who have left the active workforce to nurture children or who otherwise are restrained due to marital obligations. We do this through Our Build Like A Woman Initiative, which is a physical and online class that teaches women how to monetize a set skill using digital tools. In the future, we envision creating a hub for mothers to build their businesses, network, have access to training and courses for growth as well as a well-equipped crèche for their children to be taken care of while they work on their business.
Each organizational mission varies at the core of their goals to empower women to acquire leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and political, financial and economic education in their fields/endeavour(s) amongst other benefits that may not be fully explored in this article. I intend to explore five organizations that empower women across all borders in unique areas of development.
- Next Generation Women Leaders
I particularly love McKinsey&Co as an organization because they passionately believe in developing outstanding female leaders and promoting gender diversity, both in their firm and in the world at large. Currently, they run an initiative called; the first Next Generation Women Leaders (NGWL) event. This event first took place in Paris in 2012. The NGWL event is an exclusive three-day workshop in which attendees explore the importance of women in leadership and refine their own leadership skills. The NGWL award is a financial scholarship combined with individual mentorship from McKinsey consultants. The NGWL is currently accepting applications to the three-day workshop happening in May 2020 in Paris. Applications are due March 1, 2020 and are open to women of diverse cultures from the Middle East and Africa.
- African Women In Leadership Organization (AWLO)
As a member of the AWLO community, I have been privileged to attend one of their conferences in Rwanda in April 2019. If you are looking to learn how to grow as a female leader and change-maker, whether in your place of work or community, you should be part of AWLO.
AWLO is a non-profit organization open to all women leaders across Africa. Its annual program called African Women in Leadership Conference (AWLC) creates a platform whereby women come together to enhance their leadership potentials. Over the years, the organization has empowered millions of African women through its programs and events. Although women empowerment is the core of the African Women in Leadership Organization, the only identifiable limitation may be the inability to reach out to every African woman that needs to be liberated from shackles of cultural practices that plague some African societies.
- She Leads Africa (SLA)
It is always said that knowledge is power. She Leads Africa uses the weaponry of engaging online content to inform, enlighten and educate women in achieving their professional dreams. The values of the initiative are; committed to helping smart and ambitious young African women live their best lives and promoting and uplifting local talent by proactively identifying promising African experts and practitioners and providing them a platform to grow. Their platform delivers the best career and business content focused on the She Leads Africa community. She Leads Africa, through its Accelerator program is designed to identify, support and fund Nigeria’s growing women entrepreneurs. Being a social enterprise dedicated to empowering young women on their journey to being leading forces in their professional lives, the platform has gone a long way in building career women.
- Women In Africa
The Women In Africa Initiative is well appreciated for its mission centered on empowering African women. It is stated as the first international platform dedicated to the economic development and support of leading and high potential African women. The Initiative promotes and supports the spread of education in the field of economic development and specifically, the training of future women leaders of innovative businesses.
In 2019, the WIA philanthropy launched “Project 54” aimed at recognizing fifty-four(54) women entrepreneurs from each of the fifty-four(54) African countries. In all, the WIA Initiative demonstrates the commitment of the African continent in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.
- African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF)
The African Women’s Development Fund is the first pan-African foundation aimed at supporting women’s rights, economic empowerment and political participation. AWDF is to be applauded for the biggest role it plays in granting funds to organizations that promote the empowerment of women. Since 2001, AWDF clings to its true core goal identified as building up an autonomous base for gender equality and development, supporting movements and initiatives of women that ordinarily do not have access to mainstream sources of funding for reasons of capacity, language, geographical location, and marginalization.
The aforementioned women empowerment initiatives amongst the numerous others, no doubt, have a common goal – empowering the African woman. The question is, can every African woman out there be carried along? The continued existence of gender-related issues caused by environmental, social and economic factors peculiar to every country may impose limitations towards the realization of a full-blown women empowerment agenda. Also, the mode of applying to become part of some women empowerment initiatives are stringent in that promising women entrepreneurs may not be accommodated due to one reason or the other.
Nevertheless, the existence of women empowerment programs in Africa reveals one thing: that the road to empowering the African woman in every aspect of the society gets clearer and achievable.
As a Social Entrepreneur, Buchi Nduka is the founder of The Amazing Woman; a social enterprise founded for the purpose of ensuring the empowerment and personal development of women and mothers. She believes that women are a powerful part of society, and all must be done to ensure they take their place and play their role in society. Through this initiative, she has launched a number of projects including training women on how to use social media to digitize their skills and make money, and more recently, the #WomenAgainstCovid19 outreach, which aimed at providing relief to low-income women during this pandemic and also encouraging women around the world to stand tall during trying times.