We are halfway there as women, student says
Days to the global International Women’s Day 2020 celebrations, a Quantity Surveyor has expressed her concerns over the theme of this year – “I am generation equality: realizing women’s rights”.
Jemima Wangui said most women and young girls are empowered and know their rights, but do not know how to fight for those rights, hence realize them. She pointed out the fears of most women in their homes, workplaces, and market.
Wangui said that a huge percentage of women in the society still do not have a strong voice to demand their rights and face off with a person in authority to ensure their rights are not trampled on.
“We are halfway there as women,” said Wangui, a student of quantity survey at the Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology (KIHBT) in Nairobi.
She said the human population comprises women who know their rights but are not empowered to fight for those rights, and this was the crux of the matter in realizing the 2020 theme in the world.
“You will visit a village where the roads are bad, there is no water connection but the people living there, despite knowing a budget is allocated for the said items at the office of the area leader, do not know how to demand these rights,” she said.
This year’s celebrations mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Women, and also men, are encouraged to wear colour purple to mark this great day, a colour associated with efforts to achieve gender equality and consequently show support for women.
The day marks a call to action to accelerate gender parity, economic justice and rights for all, end gender-based violence, bodily autonomy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, feminist leadership, and feminist action for climate justice.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in her statement spoke about the disappointment of young girls with the leadership of the world in caring for the planet and fighting for their rights.
“Girls are making no secret of their disappointment with the stewardship of our planet, the unabated violence directed against them and the slow pace of change in fulcrum issues like education,” she said.
“For example, despite improved school enrolment, 1 in 10 young women today are still unable to read and write. This has to change in order for girls to fully own their power, take their place in the world, and play their vital role in technology and innovation.”
Women must move from knowing their rights to realizing those rights through actions that are specific, measurable and timely; then our theme will bear many fruits.