Harnessing the Power: The Vital Role of African Young Women in Leadership

By Tag a Life International

Women’s empowerment and gender equality are critical components for achieving sustainable development. Recognizing this, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a principal global intergovernmental body, catalyzes promoting women’s rights and gender equality.

This is why our organisation, Tag a Life International (TaLI) works to build young women’s Voice, Agency, and Skills to become active leaders in their communities and become fully equipped to advocate for the issues that pertain to them.

This year, TaLI will be present at CSW68, hosting a parallel event on Advancing Young Women’s Representation in Leadership. This event is in partnership with members of the Adolescent Girls and Young Women Africa (AGYW Africa), a solidarity platform that brings young women and girls from across Africa to have a voice on their issues since 2021.

This event will be held on the UN grounds in New York on Friday, the 15th of March at 10:30 am. We believe that young women’s representation is crucial to the achievement of sustainable development in Africa and for its people. By including young women in CSW, we can make young women an empowered voice and visible face of the sustainable development goals and open the conversation of young women’s representation, starting from high-level forums such as these, all the way to enhanced political and public participation.

Convened by the Founder of TaLI, Ms. Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, AGYW Africa brings partners from Southern, East, and West Africa to caucus on AGYW rights to ensure that they have a voice in their own States, Regions, and globally.

The current partners include; Rozaria Memorial Trust, SRHR Africa Trust, Institute of Women Social Workers, Sistah Sistah Foundation, Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Center and Network, and the Women’s Academy for Political Leadership and Excellence from Southern Africa; Aspire Debate Rwanda, Polycom Development Project Kenya, Raising Teenagers Uganda and Youth Inspire Initiative Malawi from East Africa.

We welcome anyone working on AGYW from across Africa including the regions not yet represented to join the movement.

Established in 1946 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the CSW emerged as a platform to elevate gender equality issues globally.

As younger generations become increasingly empowered and vocal, their involvement at CSW becomes pivotal.

This year, the 68th Session of CSW will be held from the 11th to the 24th of March 2024 under the theme “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”.

With multiple evidence suggesting that having women in leadership and policy-making positions produces increased productivity, enhanced collaboration, organizational dedication, and improved fairness, Africa must pave the path for young women to rise in leadership.

At Tag a Life International, we are dedicated to empowering young women with the tools and knowledge to become well-informed leaders in their communities and their country.

Through leadership, mentorship, and economic empowerment, TaLI lifts the young women in Zimbabwe and the African continent, giving them a voice, agency, and skills to create change and rise above the glass ceiling.

Our ‘Leadership Economic Mentorship Hubs – LEMHs’ programme raises young women leaders to take up leadership positions across all spectrums that span Civil Society, Politics, Business, and government departments. It empowers them with the knowledge of their rights and equips them to claim those rights.

They in turn build Movements with fellow young people in their communities. Through this program, we have seen young women advocating in Parliament, running for office, and building real change in their communities.

Because of this program and its components, young women have advocated for children to have birth certificates in areas where they were being denied their identifying documents, they have run for office with one becoming the Mayor of her community in Epworth, and some have created their own organizations, furthering their movements and creating employment opportunities for other young women, to name a few.

By actively engaging in CSW, young women contribute to the formulation of policies and recommendations that governments adopt at national and international levels. Their involvement helps craft solutions to address systemic challenges, tackle discriminatory practices, and promote the rights and well-being of women and girls.

The presence of young women at the Commission on the Status of Women is not only crucial but essential for achieving a gender-equal world.

Through diverse perspectives, policy innovation, mentorship, network-building, and catalyzing change, their involvement in this global platform positions them as drivers of transformative progress in the pursuit of equality and justice for all. It is imperative to invest in and empower young women’s participation, ensuring their voices are heard today and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow.

Written By Tanya Mbofana – Communications and Partnerships Officer – Tag a Life International (TaLI) Edited by Nyaradzo Nyari Mashayamombe – Founding Executive Director – Tag a Life International (TaLI) & Convener of AGYW Africa