Tag: Women

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How media representations of gender can reinforce harmful stereotypes 

As the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence comes to an end, it’s crucial to examine the pivotal role the media plays in shaping our perceptions of gender. From movies and advertisements to news reports and social media, the media landscape significantly influences how we perceive masculinity, femininity, and the roles assigned to different genders. However, the impact of these representations is not neutral; rather, it often perpetuates harmful stereotypes that often reflects and reinforces harmful narratives that have real-world consequences.

One of the most concerning aspects of media representations are simplistic and often inaccurate portrayals of gender. Women are frequently portrayed as passive,  weak, and dependent, while men are depicted as strong, dominant, and entitled. These portrayals not only limit individual expression but also create unrealistic standards, leading to the normalisation of power imbalances and become justifications for discrimination, harassment, toxic behaviours within relationships  and even violence.

The hypersexualization of women and the objectification of their bodies  in the media is another troubling trend. Advertisements and entertainment often reduce women to mere objects of desire, emphasising physical appearance over intellect or character. This objectification not only dehumanises women but also normalises the idea that their worth is solely based on their looks, fostering a culture that enables harassment, assault, and discrimination.

The perpetuation of these stereotypes and biassed representations in media contributes to a culture that trivialises gender-based violence. When violence against women is normalised in movies, TV shows, or news reports, it desensitises audiences and minimises the severity of such acts. This can lead to victim-blaming mentalities or an attitude that downplays the seriousness of abusive behaviours.

However, the media isn’t solely a negative force. It can be a powerful tool for positive change. By promoting diverse and empowering representations of gender, media can challenge stereotypes, raise awareness, and inspire societal transformation. When media platforms showcase strong, independent women, supportive and emotionally intelligent men, and diverse gender identities, they contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society.

As consumers of media, we hold the power to demand change. By critically engaging with media content, supporting diverse representations, and holding media outlets accountable for their portrayal of gender, we can create a society where harmful stereotypes are shattered, and all individuals are valued and respected, regardless of their gender identity.

This is a call to action for media creators, consumers, and activists alike. Let us acknowledge the influence of the media on shaping societal attitudes and take proactive steps to challenge harmful stereotypes. By advocating for accurate, diverse, and respectful representations of all genders in media, we pave the way for a world free from gender-based violence and discrimination. Together, let’s amplify our voices and strive for a future where everyone, regardless of gender, can live free from fear and oppression.

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Bridging the Gender Gap: How Women are Transforming the African Entrepreneurial Landscape

The startup ecosystem in Africa is currently thriving and poised for significant growth and success in the coming years. In the last half-decade, the ecosystem has achieved several significant milestones, including an increase in the number of female-led startups, business expansion to different regions, multi-million-dollar acquisitions and exits,etc. 

Despite the significance of these accomplishments in Africa’s startup ecosystem, there remains a lack of diversity in funding, particularly concerning female-owned startups, whose funding from domestic and international investors remains notably lower compared to male entrepreneurs. According to this piece from the big deal, female-led startups only received 4% of the total $4.8 billion invested in African startups in 2022. This amount  is 25 times less, compared to the funding that female-led startups received in 2021.

This article aims to acknowledge the accomplishments of female founders in different sectors in Africa and to explore the difficulties they encounter.

Let’s look at some female founders and their impact.

 

Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti: 'Self-doubt is the biggest quencher of creativity' | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — Guardian Woman — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Ife Durosimi-Etti, CEO Herconomy 

Herconomy is more than a mobile savings app, it’s the largest community designed to give women access to the resources they need to thrive, switch up their money game and build the life they want. Herconomy currently has over 60,000 women savers who have saved over $100,000 in total and has plans to onboard unbanked women (those without bank verification numbers) to her community.

 

Using AI to fight cancer: an interview with Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa, Founder and Executive Director, Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab | Business Insider Africa

Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa, Founder CHIL AI Lab

CHIL  AI Lab is battling cancer with a range of impressive products and services, including non-invasive self-testing kits that utilise machine learning and AI to diagnose cervical and breast cancer and its AI-powered mobile app named Keti, that allows women consult with oncology experts, have samples collected and sent to laboratories,  have their test results interpreted and advised on what next steps to take. CHIL AI Lab self-testing kits are currently in use across 25 countries.

 

Tao Laine Boyle - Co-Founder - FoondaMate | LinkedIn

Tao Laine Boyle, co-founder FoondaMate

FoondaMate is an edtech startup that enables access to online learning for students via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. FoondaMate currently has over 1 million users across the world and has helped thousands of students pass their exams through their AI powered bot.

 

Nicole Galletta | YourStory

Nicole Galletta, co-founder iProcure

iProcure is the largest agricultural supply chain platform in rural Africa connecting agricultural manufacturers and distributors to local retailers (agro-dealers), through its unique distribution infrastructure that interlinks agricultural supply chains.  It also provides business intelligence and data-driven stock management across the supply chains. It currently connects more than 5,000 agro-dealers to different manufacturers.

Although female entrepreneurs  in Africa have made progress, they still face several challenges when starting out.  Female entrepreneurs often struggle to secure funding for their businesses, with many investors preferring to invest in male-led startups and this limits their ability to scale their businesses. Cultural biases and stereotypes can make it difficult for women to succeed in traditionally male-dominated industries. Female entrepreneurs also find it difficult to get qualified personnel due gender bias. Additionally, female entrepreneurs often lack support networks and mentors, which can make it difficult for them to navigate the challenges of starting and growing a business.

However, the future of female entrepreneurs in Africa looks promising, as more and more successful female entrepreneurs are emerging and bringing new perspectives and approaches to traditionally male-dominated industries. To ensure the economy thrives, it is essential to support female entrepreneurs by helping them start their ventures, providing mentorship, access to finance, creating supportive environments, and promoting gender diversity and inclusion in all sectors of the economy. With the right support from government, non-government, and private sectors, female entrepreneurs have the potential to drive economic growth and create a brighter future for Africa.