According to “Women’s Political Participation: Africa Barometer 2021”, women in parliament in Africa make up just 24% of over 12,000 parliamentarians. The Beijing 1995 declaration and Africa agenda 2063 have mandates that insist on the empowerment of women to achieve gender equality in all spheres of life. Addressing the problem of equality at the local government level has been theorized as a means to include more women in political affairs from the grassroots level. However, numerous women at this level face challenges that keep them from even considering pursuing political positions. Joining us on this webinar session are four guests who have direct understanding of the struggle for equality and empowerment of women in marginalized communities and how these struggle can be overcome.

Wadi Ben-Hirki is a development practitioner, public speaker, and writer. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation. She is presently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Education and Development at the University of Sussex, as a Chevening Scholar. Wadi has been awarded the Top 10 young people in Africa working towards achieving Gender Justice and Reconciliation Award. Her expertise and development focus is on girl child education, gender equality, peace, and justice.

Wakana Monia is the founder of Ladies of Liberty Alliance(LOLA) in Burundi, Rwanda, and the DRC. She is an Executive Committee member of SFL Africa. She is currently, the Regional Coordinator of Central Africa and Great Lakes Region in African Students For Liberty. Her expertise and development focus is on ending gender-based violence and promoting the economic, political, and social liberation of women.

Sophiyat Sadiq is a youth activist who is passionate about advocating for access to quality education for girls in underserved communities. She is a 2021 BeyGOOD Global Citizen Policy Fellow and A Kofi Annan Foundation Changemaker.

Venessa Yasmin Hanson is a social media specialist, activist, and a team member of the Women in Foreign Policy organization where she serves as the diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. Venessa is passionate about encouraging women from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds to join in foreign policy conversations.