By Benjamin Njoku
In solidarity with the United Nations International Women’s Day 2021, IWD 2021, the All African Music Awards, AFRIMA, during the week joined the rest of the world to honour the strength of women,calling for accelerated gender parity and better remuneration for women in the culture industry in Africa.
Themed as “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future ina COVID-19 World” and the offshoot #ChooseToChallenge campaign, IWD 2021 turned 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.
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 and 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.