International Women’s Day Statement

MARCH 8TH, 2014

It may sound like “common sense” to acknowledge the strides women have made on social, political and economic fronts the world over. But, the truth is, the world is still unequal.  Earlier this week, one Member of Parliament in Kenya, while contributing to the Equality bill said, “Inequality anywhere is inequality everywhere.” 

That phrase was the perfect trigger that ushered in the commemoration of the International Women’s Day, 2014 for me.  How equal are women to men even at the lowest level of society? While we acknowledge the progress made towards women’s empowerment and gender equality, we know that it has been painfully slow and uneven. Gender friendly laws and polices are only given attention for political mileage and conformity to international treaties that governments have committed to. But, practically, no thought is given to these commitments and more often; they are the first to renege on. 

The brave and courageous women who have led the way and given us direction inspire us. We celebrate the first trade unionists that initiated this day. We salute the Nobel laureates whose contribution has received world acknowledgement. We applaud the pioneers on all fronts for making us proud. We revel the brave leaders who have ensured policies and laws that empower women.  Hail the mothers who have toiled for their children and endured torture for the children to succeed.  And acclaim the media that gives prominence to all the exclusive stories of women of courage and wisdom because it is in sharing that we inspire change. 

As we rally behind the theme “Inspire Change”, let us remember the 1.3 billion absolutely poor whose majority are women; the one out of every three women who are abused everyday.  Mothers who agonize with reports of child mortality reading 6.6% today plus the millions struggling to feed their children in the face of drought and hunger. 

Let us stand on the right side of history and be counted because we impacted positively and inspired change. 

Happy IWD! 

Racheal Nakitare