Becoming true to gender equality

The past month has defined one of the most testing and yet intriguing moments of my life as an activist. I decided to enter a political contest. It was a hard campaign process that demanded a lot of time and dedication. I had to balance all this with my other roles of being a working mother, wife and a host of other things.

I loved the adrenalin the whole month produced but above all, I drew from it some valuable lessons in this journey of life. Women seek to multi-task and keep abreast with world events. They also are at par with their male counterparts in transforming the world into a better place and this is worth the while as long as they do not lose their sanity. Keeping a balance is crucial at all times.

The world of democracy and good governance is dominated by men who can be ruthless when looking at the role of including women as equal partners. However, as a woman seeking to transform the world, working alongside men can be a challenge – especially when they do not understand the multiple roles that come with being a working mother. Moreover when they are gender blind, things become even more difficult. My infant is breastfeeding exclusively (in a bid to protect her rights and adhere to the national policies of caring for infants). This means she has to be near her supply of food and when expressing is harmful to the mother’s wellbeing then there is a challenge.

However, I made the deliberate decision that in this respect, we become inseparable so as to gain balance. It is hard but, doable. Question: How many people out have decided to place their careers above their family, especially children and today society reflects such neglect through those “dysfunctional” individuals? And when there can be sort of balance to be achieved by a woman in this patriarch-dominated world then is that not a plus?

It is necessary for the duty bearers to come to the realization that the gospel of women’s inclusion should come with the necessary practical support systems that enable women to develop beyond the usual confinements. Unless this happens, as shown in my experiences during the past month, then we are just being religious when it comes to gender equality and equity. Just take a moment and think about the kind of difference we could make if we had the necessary changes and required support to enable women to become truly equal partners in democracy and good governance,

Looking at the flip side – Women ought to know their power from within. When we decide to make a difference in this world, we ought to ensure that we ourselves know who we are, what we want and just how we plan to get what we set out to achieve. This means that despite the conditions not being conducive from our own reality, we need to figure out how to claim the space we often clamour for.

We need to ensure that as women human rights defenders, democracy and governance practitioners, we can give of ourselves and also support other similar minded sisters in ensuring that we make progress. I realized that when all else seems sinking ground, if you are not true to the power within then you might as well give up and forget you can transform this world.

It is important that as leaders and especially women leaders we define our own context and fight the good fight in order to see the world become better for everyone else. Nothing is impossible under the sun, we can do this as women and still maintain a reasonable balance at different levels. After all it is only our species that was blessed with the ability to multi-task so let us go ahead and transform this world!

Post published in: Politics

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