All the Latest Business Aids for African Women

Women in Africa have gradually been empowering themselves over the past few years, by building their own cottage industries, providing employment for others in their communities and ultimately putting food on the table for their families. Many countries in Africa are some of the poorest in the world. HIV/Aids has devastated the lives of millions of families in African countries, often leaving women as the sole breadwinners and providers for young children. The continent’s history is one of continuous turmoil and instability, most likely a result of the original colonization by Western settlers. The continent has been ravaged by civil wars, drought, famine and disease. Young women and adolescent girls still remain the most susceptible to HIV. Recent research tells us that 80% of all women suffering from HIV, live in sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately local culture is the leading contributing factor to these statistics. An African woman is expected to remain faithful to her husband, regardless of infidelity or abuse, whilst men are encouraged to take multiple sexual partners and engage in unprotected sex. Lack of access to adequate healthcare and the cultural taboo concerning contraception also has a huge negative impact on African women’s ability to avoid infection.

The is a overwhelming amount of research evidence that points to the direct correlation between education and HIV infection rates in young African women. The research shows that when girls attend school they are far less likely to fall pregnant and marry at a young age. Unfortunately more than eighty percent of adolescent girls do not have the opportunity to complete secondary education and more than a third of them are illiterate. Even the girls that do complete their schooling are not sufficiently educated about the dangers of unprotected nor do they receive even the most basic of sex education. Statistics show that less than thirty percent of young women in sub-saharan Africa know how to prevent HIV infection. Societal pressures are strongly stacked against young African women. One alarming statistic from a survey conducted in South Africa reported that over thirty percent of sexual assault survivors were raped either at school or in the nearby vicinity.

On a more positive note, in January 2015, the African Union announced it’s commitment to improving conditions for African women, declaring 2015 as the “Year of Women’s Empowerment”. Governments across the continent are beginning to recognize the the urgent need to tackle the extreme gender inequalities that exist and commit to working towards providing women with equal access to education, opportunities and services. Tackling issues like child marriage, physical abuse of women, abusive tribal traditions and basic education are on top of the agenda. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a veteran campaigner for the rights of African women, recently stated at a press conference : “The leaders need to know that the young women and girls are here and they are not a statistic. The leaders need to create time to meet, dialogue, listen and then act.”. Organizations like FAWE(Forum for African Women Educationalists) are making tremendous progress in promoting gender equality and education in Africa, and have facilitated the training of over 6500 new teachers since 2005.

Vital Voices is a global organization which focuses on identifying small businesses operated by women and providing support in the form of training and encouragement. By mentoring these small micro businesses, they help build the women’s leadership skills and tackle the barriers they face.

ASFAG is committed to supporting women from impoverished communities and providing them with business aids and information that can empower them, and assist them in starting their own small business orĀ  growing their existing business. We continue to provide access to new information that can aid entrepreneurs in starting up.