International Woman’s Day: The Gender Agenda,Gaining Momentum
Today, 8th March, marks International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900′s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
It’s a day to remember and honor women all over the world! We have our dear mothers to remember, female leaders who fight for women’s rights in the world. Lets also remember the young women around Africa who have set the front gear as role models in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Not forgetting the aggressive women around Africa playing leadership role and fearless social activism. Lets also welcome the young women passionate about pursuing entrepreneurship and STEM careers.
For Kenya, this day might pass with little attention or planned events due the ongoing elections period as Kenya decided the next leaders. Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Google Kenya, has planned a special event with invited guests that recognizes and brings together Women in Kenya. Women who truly inspire by recognizing and celebrating their hard work and contribution to the lives of many and the society at large.
The theme of this year’s World Women’s Day is THE GENDER AGENDA: GAINING MOMENTUM. The importance of this day , should not be forgotten and each and every woman should take time to reflect on what is their role in the Gender Agenda in their locality, workplace and community at large. Over time and distance, the equal rights of women have progressed as we celebrate the achievements of women while remaining vigilant and tenacious for further sustainable change. There is global momentum for championing women’s equality and empowerment. Women in STEM should position themselves at the forefront of this movement as role models.
“To win the future , we must equip the young women of today with the knowledge, skills and equal access to reach for the promise of tomorrow (…). Expanding opportunities for women and girls in the STEM fields is critical for growth in the 21st century economy.” – President Obama
On this one day women should ask themselves the following questions:
1) Am I aware of what’s going on in my field with regards to the Gender Agenda?
Reflect upon the number of female colleagues in the past 2 – 3 years who have dropped out or have come into your workplace.
Domestic issues and responsibilities, constitute primary challenges that affects women professionals in STEM and their performance and progress at work.
Are the HR policies at your workplace Gender sensitive?
2) What can I do as an individual to make a contribution however small in the Gender Agenda?
Knowing what you have experienced while pursuing your studies and going on to a career in STEM and other fields, could you share your experiences or some words of wisdom with younger women taking on or interested in STEM?
Do you have time to give a motivational talk or mentoring to young girls in secondary and high schools to inspire them and motivate them to continue their passion and interest in professionals with few women?
WMIAfrica offers the opportunity to individuals and organisations to be a part of the Gender Agenda by making a difference through joining a digital community to share a story, highlight a STEM women initiative to motivate and impact young women in STEM. Are you part of the digital network? Make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.