#011: Day of the Girl

Oct 20 Issue of Empower46 below. To receive more like this straight to your inbox, join us here.

  • Day of the Girl

 Last week (Oct 11) saw the 2017 International Day of the Girl Child, which aims to celebrate girls, raise awareness about issues uniquely facing girls, and to inspire us all to create a world where every girl (no matter where she's from) has agency and equal opportunity. 

This year's International Day of the Girl theme was "EmPOWER girls: before, during and after the conflict." The Global Goals campaign released a magical documentary, #FreedomForGirls, with Beyonce's song Freedom featured as the background track for some very fierce girls around the world claiming their power!

Watch for"I break chains all by myself/ Won't let my freedom rot in hell/ Imma keep on running/ Cause a winner don't quit on themselves ." 



  • For A Cup of Coffee

Anna Brones of Sprudge offers a delightful insight on how greater gender justice is slowly being achieved in coffee farming across Africa and South America. Although women are on the front lines of the coffee farming industry (typically completing the more tedious but most crucial roles), they are routinely left out of receiving appropriate earnings. 

Building gender equity in coffee farming requires a "multi-pronged" approach and is already being taken on broadly by organizations such as Twin, as well as by African female coffee farmers who determined to make a name for themselves

Read for"Traditionally when you invite farmers to a training and when they hear 'farmers' they hear 'men'...unless you proactively try to reach and train women, they're invisible." 



  • Skincare, Whiteness and "Fairness" 

In the wake of Dove's recent tone-deaf viral advert, there is an especial focus on how the skincare industry targets and markets to dark-skinned women. Although the model in the Dove advert penned an articleexplaining how the ad (innocently) came about, the "lack of trust" (as the model put it) between dark-skinned women and major skincare brands particularly because of the industry's historical obsession with lighter skin makes it hard to accept.  

Similarly, Nivea's new lotion ad (circulated in some African countries) promises African women "visibly fairer skin" to make them feel younger. In the ad, the model applies the lotion and her skin becomes visibly lighter. To me, this ad is at best appalling, and at worst, racist. In essence, there is no excuse. 

Read for“Dear Nivea, who told you one must be light skin to be beautiful? We love our skin in its original creation" 



  • Cairo Ranked Most Dangerous Megacity for Women

According to a poll from Thomas Reuters Foundation, Cairo is the most dangerous megacity for women. From a survey of gender experts, Cairo emerged worst city for women out of 19 megacities, because of issues such as FGM, forced marriage and high traditionalism (which often links to other forms of laws that repress women). 

Cairo was followed by Karachi (Pakistan) and then Kinshasa (DRC).  

Read for"Everything about [Cairo] is difficult for women. We see women struggling in all aspects."



  • Hadiza Bala Takes On Another Battle

In this article, CNN covers Hadiza Bala's ambitious goals to reform the Nigerian Ports Authority. Recently appointed as the first-ever female Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza has made a public show of fighting corruption in the NPA, as well as aiming to improve operational efficiency in processing containers.

As a loud voice in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Hadiza's work at the NPA will be under a magnifying glass, and her success will only serve to bolster the Nigerian economy. 

Read for“The NPA has almost 4,000 employees across six sites, which handle the majority of Nigeria's imports and exports. But [Hadiza] says the system is dysfunctional."



Nneoma Nwankwo