My recent posts have a little dry recently, with mostly unembellished and raw information, like a high school history paper, and lacking my usual brilliant and witty commentary and I do apologize for this. With the recent hack of my FB page I have been busy doing damage control and so have neglected my duties as the voice in the wilderness screaming, “listen damn you!” Anyway, I am back and awake again, re-energized with a focus and determination to return to their proper place in both history and in the world today, the African women who have guided, nurtured and ruled both in the past and in the present. I neglected my duties yes; but I did not abandon them. With this post, expect to find me at my usual level.
I want to get into the reason why I brought up two of the most well-known female African rulers, and their relevance in today’s Africa with respect to the Matriarchy, which although, today throughout most of African does not rule in its own right, it is still responsible for maintaining what little stability that our idiotic, avaricious, and megalomaniac male leaders have not already destroyed. Most African women are not aware of Hatshepsut or Nzinga; it is not through their inspiration that the African Matriarchy still thrives. It is because there is something inherent in African women that gives a strength and a purpose, which is unfortunately, due to Mr. Willie Lynch, seems to have been ripped from their counterparts here within the United States.
Across the African continent, from west to east, north to south, women have become the backbone of society and the economies of the post-colonial counties in Africa which due to the devious and insidious practices and influences of the Occidental world, have become models of what nations should not do. Without the women of Africa keeping it afloat, the continent would have long ago deteriorated into a mess of tribal, ethnic and regional conflicts, with the vast natural resouces being raped and pillaged by greedy Western interests. Oh, wait that is already happening! So, imagine just how much worse things would have been if not for these strong and determined women.
The continent is dominated by small-scale farming and informal traders, 89% of which are women, who are often the sole providers for their families. Yet despite their central role in shouldering this economic and social burden, they are still struggling to take their rightful place at the decision-making table.
But it must not be forgotten that African women still outstrip the West in terms of political enfranchisement, since they are moving from a position of strength granted them the historical precedent of people like Queen Hatshepsut and Queen Nzinga. It is easy to criticize Africa – as though it was actually one single country – for lacking democracy and for low female participation, but those making such statements should first recognize the progress already made. Although Women occupy only 24% of parliamentary and ministerial seats across sub-Saharan Africa, this still far outstrips the percentage of female representation in developed countries such as the United States, where less than 20% of congressional seats are held by women, or Japan where fewer than 10% of legislators are female.
The increase in the number of women in African politics is making a real difference to the lives of the people they represent. Some African countries are in fact trailblazers in the promotion of women’s leadership. Rwanda, for example has the highest female representation in the world: 61% of its MPs are women, most likely as a result of the genocide and civil wars, when the men who were responsible for the numerous deaths at that time, stripped the population of males.
South Africa has well over 40% parliamentary representation by women. A further seven African countries have parliaments where more than 30% of their members are female. Uganda ranks 31st out of 195 countries globally, with 34% of their MPs being women. The UK, with 30% female representation, ranks 46th.
These changes have not happened by accident, but are the result of deliberate policy decisions and grassroots demand. In some cases, they came about through hard-fought constitutional amendments. At least 16 African countries already have parity legislation in place. Uganda and Kenya have led the way in reserving seats in parliament for women and young people’s representatives.
Through the use of these reserved seats, and quotas for female candidates, many African governments have taken legislative action to increase women’s participation, something most western governments have refused to do themselves.
But these changes could not have been implemented without the historical acceptance in Africa of the power of women in every facet of society. It is now that in the many emerging economies in Africa that because of a paradigm shift, Generations X, Y, Z and Millennials have begun to re-embrace traditional culture and customs and are flocking in droves to return a continent hungry for progress by using the education they obtained in the West for the betterment of the continent. And it is the women who are trailblazing the path to Africa’s future glory and rebirth.
Next up: The Amazons of Black Sparta