"Do not speak when your elders are speaking", "A woman should be seen and not heard", "A woman should not be too loud", these are some of the weapons designed by the patriarchal system to silence and belittle African women. From an early age, she is instilled with these doctrines that teach her to reduce her value to uplift everyone around her asides herself. "Women are nurturers. They always put others first". How beautiful. It is a precious thing to love selflessly, but it is more important to love yourself.
For many centuries, women have been made invisible in spaces where they matter. Standing at the back of the man in public whilst being front and center in the ideation and execution processes.
But, how can we overcome our own Imposter Syndromes to assert ourselves in the spaces designed to shrink and exclude us? Why is it important to do this in the first place? Simply put, "Representation". If we are going to ever achieve a world where women are not seen as lesser beings, we must create a world where women are seen and represented in the rooms that matter, where women are seen as innovators, creators shaping the world around them, not just as nurturers building the home and supporting the man.
We live in a world where women are being erased from narratives of change-making. We stay silent on our achievements, allow the man to steal our ideas, to take credit for our work while we watch from the sidelines and are made invisible because we want to be "nice", we are afraid to shake tables, we want to conform. Not anymore.
The days of shrinking yourself are over. It is time to speak up and be REPRESENTED. Be VISIBLE. Here are 3 ways to make sure you are seen and heard in spaces designed to shrink and hide you and your star:
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