According to my Feedly RSS reader, I follow 279 bloggers in the ‘Ivory Coast’ category, and it’s a number I’m regularly adding to (of course many accounts are inactive). Sadly there isn’t an online directory of the Ivorian blogosphere, though the Association of Bloggers in Cote d’Ivoire promises something very soon. But I was struck recently by something quite interesting – the vast majority of regular Ivorian bloggers are women. Looking through my feed of latest articles from a little over the last 24 hours I have blog posts from Amenan, Prisca, Manuella, Mariam, Guiliane, Vanessa, Yehni, Aida, Edith, and Orphelie.
Just five years ago this was far from the case, with just pioneers Edith Brou and Ghislaine Atta the notable names on the scene, though essentially in what might stereotypically be considered male dominated areas (respectively technology, and science). Instead in the early days we had a leading brand of Ivorian male bloggers, with a heavy focus on politics and the Ivorian crisis. It’s refreshing that things have changed. Before there were specific efforts to get women to blog. Now perhaps any positive discrimination needs to go the other way.
To some extent, the stereotypes follow through; women bloggers are often covering things like fashion, beauty, health, literature, culture, society, and leisure activities. Tech, business and politics are key topics chez les hommes. For my part, I’m far more interested in the former topics, and almost all my favourite Ivorian bloggers are women, who also seem to have more staying power too.
I would suspect that if you looked at literature classes and computer classes at university in Abidjan you’d see expected gender divides. This morning I saw photos of the participants in a new exciting intiative called ‘ALLDEVCAMP 2015’ by local web organisation Akendewa to train young people in coding for several months. All those taking part are men.
PS – Let me add another name to the list Afrogenik, a great fashion blog run by an Ivorian currently overseas.