Black Lionesses in the workplace face what’s called “Double Jeopardy”. This pertains to gender bias, meaning the fact that they are neither white nor male has already placed them at a disadvantage in the world of work across the globe, specifically in corporate. As if that’s not hard enough, the general stats don’t paint a pretty picture either for our black lioness..
- African women between the ages of 15 and 34 years constitute 49.1% of youth not employed or studying (2013)
- The unemployment rate of women was 2.9% higher than the national average, 30.8% of black women (2013)
- Black women are graduating high school, attending college, participating in the labour force, and starting businesses at higher rates, but they still aren’t seeing the rewards of their hard work
- In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 per cent of women in non-agricultural jobs are in informal employment,
However it’s not all doom and gloom..
- In 2010, they were 66 percent of all blacks who finished a Bachelor’s Degree, 71 percent with a Master’s, and 65 percent with a Doctorate. (US stats)
- They are also very entrepreneurial, starting businesses at six times the national average and representing the fastest growing segment of women-owned businesses.
The status of women in the South African economy is slow and steady, given the fact that we are crippled by the triple threat of unemployment, inequality and poverty. However we have our very own Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Ms Susan Shabangu, who has been mandated to “improve the information and knowledge on the performance of women in society.”
These stats are why I saw a need for Black Lioness, a woman who is not only powerful and stealthy, while being maternal and loving. She is a symbol of bravery, royalty and strength – afterall- who says we can’t have it all? It’s not meant to be as forceful or aggressive as it may sound, but rather motivational, encouraging and a ‘fist bump’ to the wonderful women of colour doing what they do best in every sphere of their lives, all across the world. It’s for the fierce women who are taking over their own territories and declaring that they are here to stay.
Journey with me as I showcase women of colour from all over the world living their best lives, while sharing snippets of my own life, thoughts, dreams and mommy diaries with my little cub. Let’s change the narrative of the black lioness through “celebrating the beauty, power and resilience of black women”, or as CaShawn Thompson calls it #BlackGirlMagic.