Today I join the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day for the huge strides they have made in social, economic, cultural and political achievements.
It is a day that we reflect on how well women have progressed and are faring in the education and health sectors, noting how women are participating more in the workforce and how the magic minimum one third Constitutional target for representation is really achievable in the public sector. And in the frenzy of social media jabs at men with umama, let us not forget that there are thousands of women who cannot join in celebration of an emancipation that is still textbook to them.
Let us remind ourselves that the majority of women continue to suffer hardship and struggle: campus girls being made sexual baits for them to earn their degree papers, ‘sponsors’ taking advantage of the vulnerability of women lacking adequate financial grounding, single mothers struggling to make ends meet while at the receiving end of egoistic holier-than-thou men and a lost society that is mired in double standards, women workers struggling on long hours and low pay while pregnancies are most unwelcome in other work places. Let’s have in our prayers women and girls struggling to come to terms with the effects of sexual assault and domestic violence like Jackline Mwende and those struggling against the imposition of patriarchal interpretations of religion. Let’s assess our progress in terms of moral policing especially on the doings of women while we turn a blind eye on the men. And other thousands of women suffering one form or another of discrimination, under-representation, misrepresentation and economic injustice.
Even in this time of enlightenment, women continue to face multiple forms of discrimination and hardships. These women are our sisters. Our mothers. Our aunties. Women’s fight for equity and equality is the fight for a better world. A fight for happy families. A fight for healthier children. A fight for adequate resource and sanitation allocation.
Empowering a woman is empowering the world.
To my mother Elizabeth Monda, sisters Daisy Henry & Isabella Mokeira and my girlfriend Nduta Annie, I celebrate you today. And every other day.
Happy International Women’s Day to every female who is a woman of substance.