The Current

Ask Her: African women need to be heard to solve social issues

They are on the front lines of conflict, poverty, and disease. They are educated, empowered and victimized. And when the world tries to solve problems, they are ignored. We turn to two activist African women, who say it is time politicians started seeking solutions from the women of the African continent.
African women's rights advocates, Netty Musanhu and Theo Sowa, say African woman need a more prominent place in conversations about aid. The Stephen Lewis Foundation is hosting Ask Her talks this week to hear from African women on their future and what can be done to help Africa. (
Theo Sowa, Chief Executive Officer of the African Women's Development Fund. (
"We are the backbones of our communities. We are strong. We are visionary. We have faith.  Africa cannot survive without us."  - Theo Sowa, Chief Executive Officer of the African Women's Development Fund 

They are at the centre of the response to the HIV/AIDS crisis.

They are at the frontlines of health care, dealing with Ebola.

And everyday they are helping to tackle Africa's epidemic of sexual violence.

They are the women of Africa.

And yet, so often when decision-makers do talk about Africa, women are left out of the conversation. They're rarely consulted as experts. Instead, men take centre stage at international symposia and conferences.

This week, an effort is being made to change that situation. The Stephen Lewis Foundation is hosting what it calls the "Ask Her" talks. It's a chance to hear from African women about the work they are doing on the ground and the role they believe aid and philanthropy should play in tackling some of Africa's problems.

Both women were in our Toronto studio. They will be speaking at the Stephen Lewis Foundation's, Ask Her, talks this week in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien.