The Challenges of Being a Woman in Africa

Women represent more than half the population in Africa, yet they continue to enjoy fewer rights than men. Being a woman anywhere in the world can be hard. Being a woman in Africa can be particularly hard because of gender, race and class disadvantage. While changes have been made, including more women in politics, there are still many challenges. Continuing to make changes is important because women in Africa deserve the same rights as men and all people in the world.

Many women in Africa are taught that their main responsibility is to find a husband, remain loyal to him and have his children. They are taught that it is only in a relationship that they and their children will be happy. Relationships can be very rewarding for women in Africa. However, they may also be unequal and hurtful.

This is because, unlike women, men are not always taught to be respectful and loyal. This can lead men to cheat on their partners and be violent. It can also mean that fathers are absent or unkind. Women are then left with a heavier burden of childcare and domestic work. Also, by telling a woman that she is only valued for her relationship, she may be stopped from having other good life experiences. This includes more education and work experience.


Women in Africa have an equal right to education and work as men, because they are also very good at learning and being successful. However, women in Africa have less access to education and are often educated less than men. This effects their chances of improving their finances or living a successful life.
Women in Africa also have an unequal burden of work and they are often paid less than men. They are limited in the types of jobs they can have, with less opportunity to work in trade, industry and government than men. Women are also less likely to own land and property than men. This inequality can mean that women feel like they must depend on men, even if they are treated badly by them.


When women in Africa are taught that they should be in a relationship, they are more likely to accept a disrespectful or violent partner. Violence against women is a very big problem and is done by both strangers and partners. This violence may be emotional, economic, social, physical and sexual. This is a cultural problem, caused by the belief that men must be powerful over women. This violence can cause women mental and physical pain. Women in Africa should know that they deserve to be treated with respect, not with violence.





  1. Abigal B.L Freeman. 6 years ago November 1, 2016

    I have been reading through this page since morning and I am so much inspired and grateful to women who are advocating for the rights of women and children in Africa.
    Thanks so much to who is at the front of the advocacy …I salute you all.

    • rightforeducation 6 years ago November 3, 2016

      Dear Abigal! Thank you so much for your comment. We are so happy to hear that the information we publish is useful to you. Make sure to share the information on your social media too so we can reach as many people as possible with our educational materials. All the best to you and many thanks in advance!

  2. Mambwe 6 years ago December 2, 2016

    Yes a lot of women in Africa have it hard as a living breathing example. I was considered the one with a problem because I had refused to be in a violent relationship. I can’t question my spouse because I’m female the day I decided to fight for my education I was seen an outcast. I believe if one man is educated only he benefits but when a woman is educated a community benefits

  3. Vivian may 6 years ago December 2, 2016

    you are right. it baffles me sometimes when women do not get the opportunity to show their wisdom in the democractic process. I hope they see this post to cheer them up.

  4. Vivian may 6 years ago December 2, 2016

    Women are only seen in other fields. Its time women takes their place. And not see themselves as an escort. Sitting at the left hand side of their husband. We have rights to Democracy. Democracy is not meant for men alone.

  5. Frances Bekey 6 years ago December 4, 2016

    Great work you guys are doing!
    Keep it up!


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