The International Women’s Day (IWD) is here with us and it’s a day set aside to celebrate women globally. This is a day to honor the many achievements and the role that women are playing globally.
Celebrated on 8th March every year, this day has been with us for over a century dating back to 1911. This day also reminds us of the need to empower women, tap into their immense potential and make a difference.
What is the aim of the International Women’s Day?
The day is paramount as it aims at;
- Champion for accelerated gender parity
- Celebrating women’s achievements
- Raise awareness about women’s equality
2021 Campaign theme
According to the International Women’s Day Foundation, this year’s theme is Choose to Challenge. This theme aims at empowering global citizens to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
However, amid the pandemic, the 2021 UN theme for International Women’s Day is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
This year’s theme is relevant as it highlights the impact women are making in different capacities to fight the pandemic.
According to the global organization UN Women, women are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. However, with this immense contribution, they get paid 11 percent less globally than their male counterparts. An analysis of COVID-19 task teams from 87 countries found only 3.5 percent of them had gender parity.
Why should we empower women?
According to UN Women, despite women’s increased engagement in public decision-making roles we are yet to achieve equality. Research notes that women hold about 21 percent of ministerial positions globally.
For instance, only three countries have 50 percent or more women in parliament, and 22 countries are led by a woman. If the current status quo remains, gender equality will be a mirage among heads of government until 2150, another 130 years.
The need to ensure inclusivity
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner, says that this year we have a chance to end the exclusion and marginalization of women and girls.
He adds that International Women’s Day reminds us that for this to happen we need to be proactive and involve women. We must accord women the opportunity in shaping decisions as countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we celebrate this day we must discard historical injustices against women that stem from political, cultural and economic barriers.
These barriers prevent women from taking their seats at the table which hinders the equitable distribution of power and resources.
For instance, across the world, women remain concentrated in the lowest paid jobs, many in extremely vulnerable forms of employment. Women are nearly twice as likely than men to lose their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has dramatically increased the poverty rate for women and widened the gap between men and women who live in poverty.
The role MYDAWA is playing in empowering Women
Our role at MYDAWA in supporting and empowering women has been immense. We are ensuring that our support towards women breaks all impediments that hinder them.
As a key player in the health sector and more so during this pandemic, we have been at the forefront ensuring that we play a significant part in fighting Covid-19 through our dedicated team.
We pride ourselves, as a gem worth emulating as we boast of women in key leadership positions. These ladies are breaking the glass ceiling and are making strategic decisions at MYDAWA.
At the moment we have 14 women in our employment portfolio, with almost have of these, 6 in total being in key leadership positions. For example, our Head of Marketing Maureen Chege-Ondego was recently featured by Africa Business Insider as a trailblazer in the country.
In conclusion, it’s no secret that when women lead, we gain positive and impactful changes and it is therefore upon us to give women the chance to lead. As we celebrate the IWD, we must come together to achieve gender equality as it is a collective responsibility for which men and women need to work together to make a difference. Remember women belong in all places where decisions are being made.1