Celebrated annually on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day is set aside to honour the social, economic and political achievements of women worldwide as we move towards gender equality.
Despite an increase in representation of women in leadership and top company positions, the disparity in the pay gap persists across the globe and according to the World Economic Forum, the bridge will not be closed until another 83 years. Women form half of the world’s population but sadly access to basic human rights such as education is still greatly unequal, with the scales tipped towards the male gender.
While efforts to improve the current situation are being made, Kenya still ranks quite low on the global maternal health scale with an estimated 510 deaths to 100,000 live births as of 2015. This is data collected by World Bank. Headway has been made in the area of maternal and newborn health as this figure represents a decline from 687 deaths but it is still unacceptable as no woman should die while giving birth.
A large area of Kenya consists of rural settlements where women constitute the majority of the labour force, taking part in agricultural activities and walking long distances in arid areas in search for water for their households. Despite this, women still play second fiddle, often dismissed when it comes to major decision making in matters that affect their future such as whether or not to get family planning or handling the family finances.
The decreasing popularity of Female Genital Mutilation is not to be confused with its complete eradication. Statistics from UNICEF report show that 27% of women and girls have undergone the practice, which translates to a number of 9.3 million. The report also says that the victims are getting younger, ranging from the ages of 5-9 years.
Inability to access sanitary pads causes girls of adolescent age to miss valuable learning days, with many girls having to use makeshift methods during their menstruation in order to get through the day.
In spite of these hurdles, women are still doing great things in the overall empowerment of fellow women and in the quiet victories in their own homes. A woman is the primary caregiver, whether it was your mother or aunt or sister or housekeeper. It was in the firm yet nurturing hands of a woman that you took your first steps as a child, or learnt how to read or make a meal.It was through their affirmation and encouragement that you gained the strength to tackle the challenges that you faced growing up.Even as an adult, you still lean on your female friends for that support system that is unlike any other.
It is for these very reasons that we celebrate women, from the holiday’s origins in 1908 up until 2017 where women continue to conquer every day and each one of us can attest that you do not have to look very far to find a woman that deserves to be celebrated.
This International women’s day InterContinental Hotel want to spoil you and the woman that holds a special place in your heart, Be it your mother, aunt, wife, sister, or any woman that has had a significant impact on you. Tell InterContinental about them and stand a chance to win dinner for two at the Bhandini restaurant and a night in their Presidential suite. Tag them in your post on your timeline before 8th March! Use the hashtags #InterContinentalLife #Celebratingwo #InterConNairobi