Owing to my passion for issues of equality and social justice, I currently spend most of my life working on issues bordering on women’s rights and leadership. Working to promote women’s rights and political participation means a lot me because it involves affirming the personae of women, and highlighting that women have the right to live in dignity. Women have the right to live without fear of violence so women should be bold to say no to violence, exploitations and oppression in all spheres of life. African women, like women everywhere, have the right to make affirming choices.
My contribution to the emancipation of women involves driving transformative changes for human rights and social justice. What’s my motivation? I am simply driven by the quest for justice for women and a society where women live in peace and their rights are respected. I want to see women engage in a worldwide struggle against all forms of patriarchal oppressions and structures especially by promoting women political participation. The very low rates of women’s participation in politics, together with the inadequate numbers of women in decision making positions, in Africa has been an issue of international debate for the past two decades.
Women have the right to live without fear of violence so women should be bold to say no to violence, exploitations and oppression in all spheres of life
Considering the fact that women already contribute significantly to the development of their communities, it is imperative that they are empowered at all levels to enable them participate more meaningfully in the decision –making processes in their various countries.
Ensuring women’s political participation is vital to development as women are more experienced in mobilizing and organizing, given the fact that they are involved in church activities, cooperatives, informal micro credit schemes etc. For the past few years, advocacy for girls and women’s education has created many educational opportunities ultimately yielding in a pool of skilled and capable women who can vie for political offices.
Despite all the progress made over the years, there is still a lot to be done. The Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) clearly stresses the need to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. It also emphasizes the need to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation by 2030. Do we have to wait for 2030 to start the struggle? No, it begins now; it is time to act!
Despite all the progress made over the years, there is still a lot to be done
In the nearest future, I look forward to seeing legislations that protect women from violence and abuse. I would also want to see policies that encourage female employment and political participation so that women can get adequate representation in government to be able to address issues that concern women.
Today is International Women’s Day, a day set aside to reflect on progresses made over the years, stress the need for change and to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide. So sisters, let us come together as activists, as women’s rights advocates to work towards building an enabling environment where women can excel!
Source photo : unhcr.org