Africa makes progress when women are onboard


Story in English:

My name is Dédé da Silveira. I am a married 32 years old mother.

When it comes to the role of African women in the rise of an inclusive and sustainable Africa, specifically in the case of Togo, I think the reality speaks for themselves: when a woman finds something to eat, then an entire family benefits from it.

Women’s primary concern has always been the welfare of their families. To achieve what is so important to them, they must fight for their own economic empowerment. For me, it is perfectly normal for children to turn to their mothers for all their needs. Improvements in women’s financial autonomy would literally boost the efforts deployed by our countries for economic development. Besides, there would be so much more joy in our homes, with less unmet needs, fewer tensions, violence and abuse of authority.

I think Africa cannot develop without its women. It may sound pretentious, but it is simply impossible. Originally, women and men were meant to be complementary. One needs the other to achieve success. The same applies for the development of our continent and, on a smaller scale, that of our country, Togo.

In order to move forward, we will have to accept capitalizing on all the energies within our society. To this end, we should start educating our children from an early age, so that they become fully aware that there is no such thing as an “inferior” human being. It is an aberration, especially when you realize that it is the "inferior” who actually has the ability to give birth and to feed a family.

Dear sisters, be partners, not subordinates. Be conscious of your aptitudes and use them to the fullest, without violence or abuse, because our sweetness remains our greatest asset, and with perseverance and courage, we can achieve great success.

Story in French:

Mon nom est Dédé da Silveira, j’ai 32 ans, mariée et mère de famille.

Concernant ma vision du rôle de la femme africaine dans l’émergence et le développement durable inclusif de l’Afrique et du Togo en particulier, il me semble que la réalité parle d’elle-même: quand une femme trouve à manger, c’est toute la famille qui en trouve.

Le souci primordial des femmes a toujours été le bien-être de leur famille. Et pour réaliser ce qui est si important pour elle, elle doit vaille que vaille lutter pour sa propre autonomie. Pour moi, il est normal que les enfants se tournent vers leur mère au moindre besoin. Une plus grande autonomie financière de nos congénères donnerait véritablement un coup d’accélérateur aux efforts qui sont faits par nos pays pour l’émergence économique. Et puis il y aurait tellement plus de joie dans nos maisons! Moins de besoins insatisfaits, moins de crispations, de violence, d’abus d’autorité et plus de joie.

Je pense que l’Afrique, ne peut pas se développer sans ses femmes. Ça peut paraitre prétentieux, mais c’est tout simplement impossible. Originellement, la femme et l’homme sont complémentaires. L’un a besoin de l’autre pour atteindre son apogée. Il en va de même pour le développement de notre continent, et, à plus petite échelle, celui de notre pays, le Togo, si cher à notre cœur.

Pour émerger, il faudrait que nous acceptions de capitaliser toutes les énergies au sein de notre société. A ce sujet, nous devrions éduquer nos enfants, dès leur plus jeune âge, de façon à ce qu’ils sachent qu’il n’y a pas d’être humain «inférieur». C’est une aberration surtout quand on se rend compte que c’est le plus «faible» qui a la capacité de donner la vie. De nourrir une famille.

Mes Sœurs, soyez des partenaires et non des subalternes. Prenez conscience de vos capacités, et exploitez-les à fond. Sans violence ni abus, parce que notre douceur est notre plus grand atout, mais avec persévérance et courage. 

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  • Alysia Silberg

    Dédé, thank-you for sharing your enlightening story. Through it, I have learned a great deal more about Africa and the challenges faced by our fellow African "entrepreneurial sisters". I love your passion for change and women's empowerment and wish you all the best on your journey. 

  • Mary Achieng

    You have spoken well, if women can get to appreciate one another, support their own women only need to accept the fact that a country that does not empower its women is doomed to fail economically let women embrace each idea that seeks to address their issues and work together for a purpose which is economic empowerment for them.

  • Catherine Nyoike

    There is a quote that says“, The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” -       Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

     Dédé, i agree let's be empathetic when responding to situations around us.

  • Michel Choto

    Thank you for your contribution, indeed women were created for a purpose, we should not be subordinates but rather partners. I believe women can contribute greatly to the economy of their countries. W

  • Michel Choto

    Thank you for your contribution, indeed women were created for a purpose, we should not be subordinates but rather partners. I believe women can contribute greatly to the economy of their countries. We need to rise up and take our place in society.

  • Stella Bakibinga

    Thank you Dele for sharing your story with us. I read that in 2007 women were finally allowed to join the Togolese armed forces! This is a great achievement and I hope that some day women will get to the top leadership position.

  • Olushola John

    Thank you Dédé for this heart-warming piece. How else can women be empowered if they themselves are not aware of the massive potentials that are in them? The African woman, most especially rural dwellers, are constantly suffering the scourge of inhumane marginalization. I think there is a need for cultural re-orientation which can be achieved by proper education from childhood and persistent awareness.

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