International Women’s day 2015
Theme: Make it Happen
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women’s past, present and future.
As we mark this year’s International Women’s day, which will be celebrated the whole months, we need to remember that this is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part. We need to envision a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination. Our Government should act fast in response to the targeting of women and girls by violent extremists. In many parts of this country bodies of women have been transformed into battlegrounds for warriors carrying out specific and systematic strategies, often on the basis of ethnicity or religion. Women have been attacked for trying to exercise their right to education and basic services; many have been raped and turned into sex slaves.
Our government and leaders need to translate their outrage into meaningful action, including humanitarian aid, psycho-social services, support for livelihoods, and efforts to bring perpetrators to justice. With women and girls often the first targets of attack, their rights must be at the centre of our strategy to address this unbelievable and growing challenge. Empowered women and girls are the best hope for sustainable development for any country. They are the best drivers of growth, the best hope for reconciliation, and the best peace keepers and makers.
Even in peaceful societies, too many girls and women are still targets of domestic abuse, female genital mutilation and other forms of violence that traumatize individuals and damage societies. Discrimination remains a thick barrier that must be addressed. We need to expand opportunities in politics, business and beyond. We need to change mind-sets, especially among men, and engage them in becoming active change-agents themselves. We also seriously need to address the issue of adolescent girls and teenage pregnancy. Puberty and adolescence can be challenging times for many girls. Although it may occur at different ages for different girls, adolescent girlhood is always a critical time of identity formation and a period of transition from childhood to womanhood. Lacking money to buy sanitary products, many school girls don’t attend class during menstruation.. For many girls in Kenyan urban slums and rural areas, going to school during menstrual cycle is not possible without feminine hygiene products. Disposable pads are expensive and many young girls cannot afford. The poor sanitation due to poor menstrual management not only undermines the dignity of the affected young girls but also culminates into poor performance in school as many opt to skip school.
Lets back up our determination with resources based on the sure understanding that investments in gender equality generate economic progress, social and political inclusion and other benefits that, in turn, foster stability and human dignity.
“Girls are the spirit of our nation, lets save them by giving them the right information about their right to health, hygiene, education and sanitation.”