As time passed, as the socio-economic context changed, from one country to another, it was necessary to adapt to new realities. The woman has shown tremendous versatility, regardless of the era to which she belonged. Today, part of society seems to have understood that women cannot be reduced to, nor are they confined to one area.
Such adaptive capacities also come with challenges that they strive to meet every day. Let's talk about the fur challenges of an African woman, current and versatile.
1- Reposition in the society
In order to shine on professional paths that would not have been imposed on her, women must face the looks of others, justify their career choices and even justify their desire for a professional life. Here in Africa, mentalities are even less flourishing than on other continents such as Europe or America. If a Beninese woman decides to get into modeling, to make a living out of it, she will undoubtedly receive a lot of comments like "and your husband, he's not saying anything? "Or" you, aren't you ashamed to jiggle on a podium like a little girl? ". In fact, a woman who decides for herself on her professional future is in the majority of cases placed in the “rebellious" “uruly” because we tell ourselves that the company belongs to men and the maximum task a woman can accomplish lies in a home and nowhere else. The first challenges of a future writer, model, executive, web influencer, politician come down to taking responsibility for her career choices and relegating looks that do not matter to the last rank.
2- Find your balance in private and professional life.
What is not always obvious in the eyes of society is the fact that a working girl can easily combine professional and private life. And yet, this is the reality of many women in Africa and Benin. Whether an entrepreneur or an employee, conciliation is often difficult. Having professional obligations does not mean that one should not have a healthy and fulfilling private life. To tell the truth since the dawn of time, our mothers, sisters and aunts take the bet quite well every day. It's not without its challenges, but it is doable. For all young women who also wish to take this path, know that the key is organization.
3- Fight against sexual harassment in the workplace
What if we were now talking about one of the plagues of our administrations and our societies? Sexual harassment seems to be a kind of hazing, a situation that a woman cannot escape as soon as she enters the professional world. However, it is not normal to expect an employee to offer anything other than her intellectual and professional skills. She didn't sign up for it. She doesn't sign to get fiddled with, she doesn't sign for naughty afterwork with her superiors, nor does she sign to receive threats every time she says NO! On the contrary, she wants recognition and respect for the work she is doing, she wants to climb the ladder simply with the sweat of her brow, she wants to be able to denounce without being judged, the despicable acts of which she would have been the victim in her environment. professional.
4- Overcome stereotypes and constantly adapt
A challenge that will only be met by doing a ton of work. However, you have to find the right charge and not let your perfectionist side take over. Indeed, women tend to want to give more. Entrepreneurs or employees, these are the ones who have the most challenges to overcome in order to climb the ladder or to obtain funds. They fight constantly, perhaps more than their male counterparts because no matter their background, society knows very well how to reduce them to their physique or even associate their achievements with "luck". It will be necessary to overcome the stereotype of the "too intelligent" woman, then that of the "not very intelligent" and develop unparalleled coping skills while remaining true to oneself.
What the working woman of the twenty-first century expects from her time is that we accept all that she has good to give, that we recognize her important place in the development of our societies, that we do not despise it because it does not fit perfectly in a box and especially that we give it the chance to flourish and put on all the caps that it wants to wear. Without any judgment.
By Jolyane RODRIGUEZ & Mélika TCHIAKPE