Africa needs more men like Jay-Z. Jay-Z last year grossed 42 million as of June 2013 according to Forbes magazine, however his wife Beyoncé grossed 11 million more than he did. If Beyoncé were as successful as she is and living in Africa she would most likely be single. I know growing up my mother always told me that I should work hard so that when I grow up I can provide for my wife and children as the head of the family. I know I am not the only African who grew up being told the same and this type of conditioning needs to be addressed if Africa is going to progress.
The reason why so many women living on the continent are not respected or seen as equals by men is because we are on the most part raised to think of women as less. When you are young, boys go work outside because they are stronger than girls. Boys are allowed to come back home later than girls because they can protect themselves. From an early age us as boys are given a better standing, we are put on a pedestal. The problem with this is that consciously or sub-consciously men then tend to look for women who they can take care of or protect. It is a taboo for a man to be the one who stays at home wiping the diapers whilst the woman goes to work.
Successful women intimidate African men. There are currently three African women who are presidents and all of them are single. Granted there is nothing wrong with being single but one asks why are they single? Well mostly because men are not used to women in power. It is a social construct foreign to us. However this mould is starting to break slowly but I believe it can be propelled to change quicker. There is hope for women in Africa though, the Central African Republic recently elected Ms Catherine Samba. She was elected president by House of Assembly filled with men. This on its own says a lot about African men and politics.
However it is not enough; I recently found out that women in Morocco were asked to have a virginity certificate! These kind of laws are holding women and Africa back. I mean it is not just an African issue but I feel this is an issue we should address as Africans.
If our current GDPs are to grow we need to give equal opportunities to all and also create avenues for women to impact. Women themselves must be empowered mentally to think that they themselves are capable of becoming entrepreneurs and bread winners. That being successful will not mean being single. We need more women like Beyoncé who are trend setters, trail blazers, mothers and wives. Women who are not afraid to do it all because they have men who will not feel challenged. Men who will encouraged them to break the glass ceiling. Africa needs more female presidents and Africa needs more men like Jay-z.