International Women’s Day – celebrating FAWE’s role in transforming the lives of African women

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International Womens Day mainEvery year, on 8 March, International Women’s Day brings to the fore women’s accomplishments and their immense potential for accelerating progress on the many development challenges still facing so many countries today.

As the leading pan-African organisation working to promote greater participation of African women in the productivity and direction of their societies, FAWE salutes the International Women’s Day initiative. FAWE calls on leaders and decision-makers across the continent to strengthen efforts to improve opportunities for women’s learning, productivity and contribution in all spheres.

Estelle's story
Estelle Bangura with her daughterEstelle Bangura with her daughter‘Taking care of a child and at the same time schooling was not an easy task. I devoted my time and effort towards my studies for a whole year and now I’m proud to say I am empowered and self-reliant,’ says Estelle Bangura, a young electrician from Sierra Leone.

A high-school drop-out, destitute and a single mother four years ago, Estelle was given a second chance at making a life for herself through a FAWE-DANIDA programme that helps out-of-school girls and young women in conflict-affected African countries to gain appropriate skills for life and work. Today Estelle is an independent woman with a good job and able to take care not only of herself and her daughter but her parents and relatives too. Full story...

The FAWE-DANIDA programme under which Estelle trained is just one of the many programmes through which FAWE and its partners work to empower the poorest and most vulnerable of African girls and women with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to transform their lives. In this way, they can contribute fully to the economic, social and democratic development of their societies.

FAWE believes that empowering women to participate more fully in their societies brings immense economic, political and social gains to entire societies and nations. This is why FAWE works with governments, schools, communities and other partners to ensure African girls and women receive a quality education so they can leader safer, healthier and more productive lives.

A sound education – whether in a classroom or in other contexts – is the cornerstone of many dimensions of development. It is the most powerful ally in the fight against malaria, HIV and AIDS, poverty, hunger, conflict, tyranny, corruption, exploitation, abuse, violence and environmental disaster. As such, quality education is the single most important investment Africa can make for its future.

Confirming this rationale, the World Bank’s World Development Report 2012 cites gender equality as ‘a core development objective in its own right.’

As the world celebrates women’s rights, accomplishments and potential on 8 March, FAWE celebrates with Estelle and the thousands of other young women across Africa who have been empowered to transform their lives through its programmes and partnerships.


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