Burkina Faso is a small country in West Africa, and has been on the world radar for some stunning festivities and celebrations on International Women’s Day. The day has been declared as an official holiday for all the women of Burkina Faso, who take to the streets and participate in colourful celebrations which are full of energy and positive vibes.
While a bird’s eye view will tell you of the many positives that the celebrations bring joy and happiness to the women of Burkina Faso on the auspicious occasion of women’s day, the reality paints a far greyer picture. The Global Gender Gap Report of 2011 ranked Burkina Faso 115th out of 135 country. This clearly shows that there are several inequalities that need to be sorted out between the two sexes of the country.
Primarily, Burkina Faso consists of a heavily patriarchal society. Men enjoy a huge number of privileges, while women are marginalized and have to ask for permission from men for even the most basic activities such as going out with friends. The last two decades have seen some improvement in the condition of women in the country. During Thomas Sankara’s reign as the nation’s president, some positive changes were made. He encouraged women to drive and also granted permission for the women to have separate driving licenses for themselves.
One of the major obstacles faced by the nation is the lack of a legal framework pertaining to sexual harassment and domestic abuse and violence. Education among women is also quite poor, and International Women’s Day in Burkina Faso serves to remind the people of the nation what they have to do to put things right.