African women have powerful voices that should be heard, and leveraging technology can help this group of women, including myself, use our voices for social change and activism. We have an important narrative to tell and technology has the ability to grow our audience and help our stories be heard.

In order to properly empower the African woman, we need to create a more accessible means to education. This is the crux to empowerment and technology can help by allowing people to learn their rights and local issues. Technology allows users to be informed so that they can make the best decisions regarding the issues that affect them and help create solutions. Limited experience can be a barrier to people becoming involved in the process. I often say that tech has made our world smaller, but our ideas much larger. Now we have access to so many different opinions and so much varied discourse. Technology can help with alleviating anxiety involved in the ‘not knowing’ aspect and what people can expect once they join in the conversation.

Once women are educated on rights and issues that affect progress, it’s time to speak out. What better way to make our voices heard than by enlisting the internet, such as social media? It’s important to remember that social media is not forgotten and things can’t ever be deleted, so it’s good to think before posting and truly know the issues. Social media allows women to also network and reach out to like-minded individuals, who can team up and speak about efforts and initiatives and give more power to the causes. Using online media can also help get the world out about these causes or important events, like local elections or initiatives. One of the limitations that can occur when trying to get more participation is not being aware of opportunities.

In addition to social media, there are plenty of online campaigns that women can join for a number of specific issues. There are both global and local campaigns, and women can choose to join the ones that speak to their heart. In addition to joining causes, technology makes it easy to create new online campaigns for new causes. In the past, there is a pattern of African women being pushed aside and their voices squandered. As a result, the causes most important to us are often disproportionately represented. With technology, it becomes easier to create these campaigns and level the playing field.

I encourage all of you as Africans and as women, mothers, sisters, brothers to sisters, fathers to daughters, no matter the case – we should all be invested in ensuring that this important narrative is heard. To the youth, I urge you to fight for an education and a platform to make your voice heard. Adults, I encourage you to hear our children. We have a wealth of opportunity and that begins with empowering our women.