‘’Mother’’, ‘’wife’’ , ‘’sister’’, ‘’girlfriend’’. Each of these are familiar roles played by women in our world. The importance of each of them may be subjective to every individual but generally, no one can underestimate the power women possess in our everyday lives. In every aspect of life, we find women playing key roles and achieving amazing things. In the past, women in Africa were relegated to caretakers of the home. Managing the daily chores and taking care of the children used to be their main responsibilities as per the skewed imagination of some people. In Ghana for instance, there was a time when a popular adage was mostly used when women are mentioned;‘’The woman’s place is in the kitchen’’.
As sad as it may be, a lot of people believed this and in years gone by, girls weren’t given opportunities to attend school or take leadership roles. However, as the world developed and women defied all odds to achieve and contribute their quota to national and international development, the story is now different. The so-called jobs which were previously a preserve for men are now fairly balanced and women are contributing greatly. We can talk about sports, military, governance , finance, telecommunications, industry, agriculture and many other sectors where women are doing so well. As we celebrate women this month, Africa’s leading ecommerce platform Jumia takes a look at the contribution of women in the growth of ecommerce in Africa.
Ecommerce is gaining grounds in Africa and women are playing key roles in this growth. In every step of the value chain, we find women. Here are 5 examples of how women are impacting the growth and development of ecommerce.
- Leadership – In times gone by, when the titles CEO, MD or head of department are mentioned, the immediate picture painted is that of a man. Today, we have several women taking up leadership roles in e-commerce. By dint of hard work, many of them are now successful CEOs, MD’s and heads of departments. Living proof of this is the leadership of Jumia Ghana were the CEO, Head of Commercial Operations, Head of HR, Head of Customer Service and many team leads are all women. They contribute to the day to day running while taking key decisions that drive the growth of the company. Kudos to all women in leadership.
- Operations – Think about the day to day functions like customer service, marketing, delivery. You may be tempted to think that this is also a male-dominated field. However, in e-commerce today, the voice you usually hear when a customer service agent calls you or when you reach out to an e-commerce firm with your complaints is that of a woman. The marketing and advertising teams consist of women. The content and design teams have women creating banners and editing videos. Listing items on websites, managing the apps and onsite traffic etc. One very amazing thing is the emergence of female delivery agents. These days, we see a lot of women delivering packages to consumers. There is no more a barrier as to what women can do, they are doing magic!
- Vendors & Service providers – Finally we look at a group of women that are very essential to the growth of ecommerce. The sellers, vendors and service providers. Many SMEs in Africa these days are owned by women. Think about the cosmetic seller, the grocery shop owner, the local restaurant owner, the kitchen & bathroom equipment vendor and many other sellers on ecommerce platforms today and you will begin to realize the importance of women to the growth of this industry. Many of these women were previously selling offline. With the introduction of ecommerce to Africa, many of them have benefited greatly from partnerships with ecommerce platforms.Their hard work and energy drives everyone on. Without these vendors, customers will struggle to find quality products at affordable prices to buy online.
Women are breaking barriers and contributing greatly to the growth of e-commerce in Ghana and Africa. The future remains bright with better innovation and new technology. The men are still actively involved and doing great work as well. We now live in a world where both men and women complement each other wonderfully. It’s just so beautiful. As we celebrate women this month, Jumia Ghana wishes to charge every woman in Africa to #choosetochallenge.
Choose to challenge the status quo and achieve no matter what. Don’t stop! Keep pushing and keep being amazing.
Source: Bennet Otoo, PR & Communications Manager (Jumia Ghana)