“As long as women are bound by poverty
and as long as they are looked down upon,
human rights will lack substance. “
– Nelson Mandela
In all corners of the world, women continue to be marginalized and denied basic rights that their male counterparts often take for granted. The reality remains that gender inequality is not simply a women’s issue but rather a human rights issue! The consequences of gender inequality and prejudice hurt not only women and girls but also communities and economies.
“Women and girls are Africa’s greatest untapped resource, and it is they, not diamonds or oil and minerals, that will be the foundation for solid, sustainable and equitable progress.” – Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique, co-chair of the high-level United Nations task force for the International Conference on Population and Development.
When Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994, he realized the dreams of millions of black South Africans for political and social equality. He took that dream one step further, when, at the opening of the first democratic parliament in 1994, he said: “Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”
It is true that historically Africa is a patriarchal society, yet if you scratch the surface you will find that in reality women are the lifeblood of African society. They are already the primary caregivers of their families and communities, the majority of workers in the church, and the vast majority of entrepreneurs in society (91%). Yet, few is training and empowering them for these critical roles.
“As long as outmoded ways of thinking prevent women from making a meaningful contribution to society, progress will be slow. As long as the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure.” – Nelson Mandela, Women’s Day celebration in South Africa, 1996.
For far too long we have missed the opportunity to empower the women of Africa.
EMIT plans to change that by launching a dynamic, culturally relevant program that will empower these women leaders.
The time has arrived for EMIT to move to the next level of wholistic leadership development by extending our leadership training to a critically important segment of society, namely women leaders. Women leaders, whom are potential change-agents and are in strategic positions to bring about societal change on every level of their communities.
Our long-term objectives of this program for women will be to:
1) enhance their spirituality,
2) develop their leadership abilities and
3) significantly lift their life and vocational skill levels.
EMIT is more committed than ever to contribute to a world that treats women and girls, and indeed men and boys, equally and with the respect they deserve. A world where women and girls not only survive but thrive in an equal world.