An Empowered Woman Doesn’t Mean An Intimidated Man

By Soko Directory Team / Published November 22, 2019 | 3:10 pm



Youth opportunities

It is great being a woman. It’s a superpower. How else would you describe a human being who has the ability to nurture, to love unconditionally, someone who is capable of bringing forth life and so many other things? Being a woman means being a warrior for change.

As much as being a woman is a great thing, it is also difficult being one. Not so long ago, someone said that when you’re a woman, you have to work twice as hard to survive, yet it is still a problem when you finally work hard and are able to fend for and invest in yourself.

Today, we are lucky that life and times have changed with regard to how women and girls are treated in society. We see girls join schools, complete their education and even excel as we saw in the just-concluded KCPE results, we see women in high places in terms of careers, we have more women standing up to vie for leadership positions, we see girls making it against all odds, which may not have been very easy in the past.

This is good progress, though honestly, we are not yet where we are supposed to be as far as women and girls’ empowerment is concerned. I will tell you why.

Let us start with the sanitary pad issue for girls in our schools. Let me just remind you because you may have heard this for the longest time you wonder why anyone would keep repeating, but there are poor girls who cannot afford sanitary pads.

You don’t understand how that is possible, do you? Maybe you do, but do you think our government knows this? Do you think the leaders we chose to represent such cases care? Do you think the ministry of education is fulfilling its mandate?

Periods are natural. So it should not be the reason why one should not go about their day to day routine.

A sanitary pad.

A UNESCO report estimates that one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle. By some estimates, this equals as much as twenty percent of a given school year.

READ ALSO: Using Cybersecurity As A Tool To Empower Women 

Young girls lack access to adequate information, preparation, and support with which to manage menstruation in a healthy, safe, and dignified manner. But even with this, what would be the use if they are not given the most important thing to start them off? Something to keep them in school during their periods so they can learn about menstruation hygiene management?

The government has promised time and again that it would supply sanitary towels to girls in schools but just how many of these girls get them? Yet, they are supposed to compete favorably with their male counterparts.

I’m afraid that what someone suggested that free sanitary pads would make more sense than condoms, because sex is a choice while menstruation is not, will continue to be something we say as our girls in the grassroots continue to menstruate, use chicken feathers and dirty used newspapers and miss four school days every month, if nothing is done soon.

Another reason I would say it’s difficult being a woman is the fact that women are custodians of all homes. They strive to feed their families, but what they go through to see that everyone is comfortable is often taken for granted.

Think of the woman in Ukambani, Pokot and other arid areas, who has to walk distances to get water to ensure her children are clean and fed. And they actually make it.

Do you ever ask yourself how much more this woman will achieve if she did not have to waste time walking to get 20 liters of water?

If such women would be provided with means of harvesting water such as tanks, they would do much more than just spend the whole day looking for water that is in fact scarce. It would also save them from diseases, because what do you expect of someone who has to carry heavy luggage for long distances daily?

Finally, did you know that agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy? Did you know that women account for 70 percent of Africa’s food? Yes, women feed you. They are so busy. They tend the land, milk the cows and take care of not only their families but the larger global family by extension.

It is said that as women till the land and feed almost three-quarters of the world’s population, yet they have no say over land. Walk to most of our Kenyan homes and ethnic communities. Very few women own land. And what’s our excuse? Laws dictate that women cannot own land.

This means that women farmers have to access land through either their husbands or sons. Sometimes these male family members move to the cities leaving women behind to tend the land – land they have no right to own, use as collateral or sell the output without consent from the men.

Now, imagine if women had the same access as men. We would have bid hunger and poverty farewell.

Research shows that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they would increase the yields of farms by 20%-30% and reduce hunger by up to 17 percent, and since they channel profits back to their households as is their nature, they would alleviate poverty.

That said, we need to see women and girls as humans who have the capabilities to change the world. When a man empowers a woman, he will not cease to be a man. To women, rise up, be a warrior, be the change you want. It is time.

READ ALSO: Women-centric Financial Products: Meeting Women’s Needs 




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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