In solidarity with the United Nations International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD 2021) themed as “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 World” and the offshoot #ChooseToChallenge campaign, the All African Music Awards, AFRIMA, today join the rest of the world to honour the strength of women, celebrate their diverse social, economic, cultural and political achievements and call for accelerated gender parity in general and better remuneration for women in the culture industry in Africa.
IWD 2021 turns the spotlight on the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in creating and sustaining the fight against COVID-19, their roles in shaping an equal future in the recovery from the pandemic, while highlighting the underlying structural gender gaps that still exist.
COVID-19 struck the world in December 2019 and distorted the dynamics of human relations. The pandemic revealed the institutional gaps in society and amplified the need to create systems, safe spaces and opportunities for women, and also brought to fore the increasing importance of women representation in decision-making processes across all levels.
In her remarks, Music Executive and Member of the International Jury of AFRIMA for the Diaspora in North Africa, Ms. Hadja Kobele Keita, gave credit to women entrepreneurs shattering the glass ceiling in the music industry.
“At the very inception of the African music industry culture, women had always been at the forefront. However, we are grossly underpaid and underrepresented. In order to break barriers, women are creating their own path in the industry by starting their own companies and taking on more executive roles. It’s delicate but, for us to be heard in an industry overpowered by traditional norms, it is a significant step forward. What gives me hope for the future of women, particularly in the African music industry, is the fact that we have organizations like AFRIMA that are committed to pushing the agenda of empowering women in a society that tries to suppress our creativity”, Ms. Keita stated.
Similarly, the President & Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada reaffirmed the commitment of the awards to being a contributor to sustainable and impactful conversations that push for an integrated and a peaceful continent as well as for socio-economic growth for all Africans, equality for women and ending the violence against women.
“The IWD 2021 #ChoosetoChallenge campaign is complementary to one of our awards objective of retelling the story of Africa from the perspective of our unique cultural heritage and creativity. AFRIMA emphasizes the importance of fair representation and women constitute an integral and important part of that. The fight for equality is our fight, and everyone’s fight”.
AFRIMA understands the importance of representation in the music and culture industry of Africa and remains committed to using its platform and network to promote gender balance, women empowerment and inclusiveness. Part of the awards’ Corporate Social Responsibility initiative campaigns geared towards promoting girl child empowerment for leadership roles through education have held in countries such as The Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria. The continental awards project has also partnered with global advocacy institutions such as the ONE Campaign to promote and support female empowerment efforts.
“We welcome opportunities to lend our voice to conversations that inspire change as well as collaborations with the private and public sector in pushing these conversations to mainstream discussions among the youth generation who constitute the largest population in Africa and who will carry on the legacy of an equitable world”, Dada concluded.