Sunday 7 January 2024

Lessons for African Youth: Gender Equality

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By Adetayo Adetokun

Lesson 7: Gender Equality

Gender equality is a fundamental human right, and the seventh lesson for young African youth is a call to champion this cause. Africa, like the rest of the world, has made significant strides in advancing gender equality, but there is still much work to be done.

Young Africans should be at the forefront of efforts to break down gender barriers and challenge discriminatory norms. This lesson is about recognizing that gender equality benefits not only women and girls but also society as a whole.

Empowering women and girls is not just a matter of justice: it is also smart economics. Women constitute a significant portion of the African workforce, and their full participation in the economy can unlock tremendous potential for growth and development. Young Africans should advocate for equal access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, ensuring that no one is held back by their gender.

Gender equality is about challenging harmful stereotypes and promoting healthy relationships based on respect and consent. It is about fostering a culture of empathy and understanding, where every individual is free to pursue their dreams and aspirations, regardless of their gender.

This lesson also extends to the importance of women's representation in leadership and decision-making roles. Young Africans should aspire to see women in positions of power and influence, from politics to business, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives in shaping policies and strategies.

In addition to advocating for gender equality, this lesson calls for allyship. Men and boys have a crucial role to play in advancing this cause, as allies and advocates for gender justice. Young African men should challenge toxic masculinity, support gender-sensitive policies, and promote healthy relationships based on equality and consent.

Furthermore, young Africans should be aware of the intersectionality of gender with other forms of discrimination, such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by marginalized groups is essential for inclusive activism and advocacy.

Gender equality is not just a women's issue; it is a human issue, and young Africans have a pivotal role to play in its realization. By embracing this lesson, they become champions of justice, advocates for equality, and architects of a more inclusive and prosperous Africa.


Read all twelve lessons here.


The lessons outlined here are not merely suggestions: they are a blueprint for the empowerment and transformation of young African youth. 

At Shades of Us, these lessons are not just principles: they are at the core of our mission. By embracing these  lessons, young Africans become the protagonists of their narratives.

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