|By George Maina- Youth Alive Kenya|
African Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and acknowledge the Fore mothers of Africa who gallantly fought for the liberation and development of this continent.
We know that African women contribute to National development through active participation in economic activities. This includes farming by rural women and informal entrepreneurship compared to other parts of the world. They are key to the welfare of their families and the life prospects of their children. They are an important voice in the governance of their communities and their nations. Yet they face an array of barriers that prevent them from playing these roles in holistic development to their full potential
Yet across Africa, women still face an array of barriers to achieving their full potential, from restrictive cultural practices to discriminatory laws and highly segmented labour markets. Eliminating gender inequality and empowering women could raise the productive potential of one billion Africans, delivering a huge boost to the continent’s development potential. These barriers to women’s full participation are fundamentally unfair and, contribute to the slow achievement of sustainable development goals. But even more, they are constraints on Africa’s achieving its development potential if when will continue to be left out from decision-making tables.
At Youth Alive! Kenya we recognize the value of women in society and their contribution towards social-economic and political development. We recently implemented a project that focused on economic empowerment by supporting small scale women-owned businesses that were adversely affected by the Covid -19 pandemic. With the continuous monitoring on how the women performances are progressing, we can establish with no fear of doubt that, women contribute to the economic development of a community.
In addition to this, we recognize the burden of unpaid care and domestic work placed upon women which denies them an opportunity to participate in social, economic, and political development. Y.A.K. will continuously create awareness and advocate for multi-stakeholder investment in policies that will improve service delivery thus freeing women’s time to engage in paid work. Our contribution will also contribute to influencing policies that focus on ending teen pregnancies and gender-based violence in various counties in Kenya.
We join the world today in celebrating Pan African Women’s Day. Let us strive for more in supporting African women to reach greater heights. Let us celebrate their contributions to a prosperous African continent. Let us celebrate their aspirations.