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Global Goals Week: We all have a role in enabling women empowerment

Sep 26, 2022 | Articles | 0 comments

This article was written by Purity Jebor, a Program Officer at Youth Alive Kenya to mark the Global Goals Week. Purity leads the Social Wellbeing and Gender Equity program. She is an ardent Unpaid Care Work Champion.

We all aspire to be in a world of opportunities, sustainability, fairness, equity, and non-discrimination. How does it feel waking up every day to an environment that is bright, and has clean air, to a society with upright individuals, enough resources for everyone, and a safe space for political expression?

Globally, progressive efforts are being made towards a fairer world. Some of the global development plans include Agenda 21, Earth summit (1992), Millennium Development Goals, Millennium summit (2000), World Summit on SDGs (2002), adoption of the 2030 agenda in January 2015, and United Nation summit (2015) that adopted the 17 SDGs.

Countries are required to implement these plans and, provide feedback on the progress as required. The recognition, based on performance has encouraged countries to make intentional moves on achieving the commitments made.

Locally, Vision 2030 aims to propel Kenya toward being a middle-level income country. It envisions that by 2030, Kenyans will enjoy and access reliable factors of production at the micro and macro levels and that there will be a democracy where the rule of law, leadership and integrity prevail.

But are we making progress towards a fairer society or, if you like, a fairer Kenya?

Allow me to recognize all the champions in the country who go beyond in ensuring we are aware of SDGs. These advocates ensure we are engaged to foster its implementation. I also acknowledge the technocrats who ensure, our developments are aligned towards addressing the SDGs. It is only when we all concert our efforts that we can address the 17 sustainable goals.

Personally, I would love to single out SDG 5:4 (Unpaid care and domestic work). It is one of the challenging and sensitive goals to champion as it addresses our social constructions that are difficult to discuss.

Imagine telling my father that he should be supporting my mum to do house chores so that she can afford early sleep. Imagine me telling my religious leader they ought to allow women to take up leadership positions in the church. How then should I make sense to a mama mboga that her voice matters in government planning? Or, how should I pitch for funding to combat social norms whose outcomes are intangible, invisible, and take longer to be realised? These are among the key challenges that impede the realization of SDG 5.

Rather than blame individuals, we should all advance discussions on unpaid care. Sensitizing the community on cultural progressive practices will enable women to be in advantaged positions, participate in political spaces and actualize their economic aspirations.

By recognizing that unpaid care work is an economic entity, we will be more interested in advancing its decency. We will reduce the time spend on it, and redistribute it at the household level. We will allow women to participate in decision-making processes.

How cool can it be if families go to bed early and women have enough time to engage in productive work?


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