EAST AFRICA WOMEN’S DAY COMMEMORATION
On 8th March each year, we commemorate women’s achievements in different spheres, including politics and socio-economic endeavors. Women’s day is celebrated by many countries in the world, including the countries in East Africa such as Tanzania. Each year, a new theme is being launched to reflect the issues that matter and bring interest to the welfare of women and girls and the community in general. This year’s theme is Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a Covid-19 World.
As the world is still reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects in different communities, women’s representation can be vital in the reflection of various activities done in our communities. In responding to Covid-19, women have been presented in multiple ways. Some women have served as caregivers, entrepreneurs, government, and NGO representatives. However, statistics on women representation and Covid-19 still show that some women could not take part even in decision making at the family level due to cultural practices that suppress them.
In respective of East Africa, as the countries are still responding to the social and economic effects brought by Covid-19, Different highlights have been spotted on how the pandemic has affected girls and women who most of them are home mothers with low income as well as those in leadership and how they play a role in ensuring there is equality amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. On the day of women, Faraja Africa Foundation and Television, in partnership with different local NGOs in Kenya, Uganda, and Tai Tanzania in Tanzania, hosted a virtual panelist discussion via Zoom on Women in Leadership and the emerging impacts, opportunities, and responses during the Covid-19 crisis. Each of the panelists discussed how their NGO achieve their goals working with women and girls in their communities.
IAs it was reported, there are several sexual harassment/acts cases on women and girls because of low income due to Covid-19, Mark Kayizzi , an Executive Director of Refugee Action Initiative in Uganda says, “The greatest achievement that I have done as a man is to help young girls to be aware on the available resources that enable them to report and give counseling to those that have been victims of sexual assaults.”
Moreover, speaking on the impact of Covid-19 and the gender inequality as seen in working places, Irene Shigala, The Director of Bright Jamii in Tanzania, spoke on the need for gender policies that govern women at work to be used so as women can be free and more communicative to their needs at workplaces. Like that, Debora Maboya from Tai Tanzania added how The Tai Team is formed of more women than men who work together effectively in realizing their goals to the Organization.
Covid-19 has hit different areas of human interest such as health, finance, environment and even employments. While it is still a tragedy to most of the world, it poses a question that, will sustainable goals be achieved? There have been several responses that challenge the status quo. However, different efforts are made by women in leadership like Shamira Nakalema, who is a Co-Founder of Menstrual care in Uganda, to ensure there is peer to peer support and mentorship programs as a part of the journey to equip women for sustainability.