What do you feel is the current situation of women in your country when it comes to female empowerment?
I believe after the 1995 Beijing World Conference for Women, awareness campaigns for the promotion of Women’s Rights through education and increased access to social services, especially sexual and reproductive health have contributed a lot to enhance government’s efforts towards empowering women. Also the role of Civil Society Organisations, which has increased in their numbers over the years, and that of various women’s groups and marginalized communities cannot be undermined. Sure, the aforementioned reasons explain the fast rate in which women today are seeking specifically financial autonomy. This is evident in the new found interest even families with low income now show in the formal and informal education of their girls and women. Men confirm that when a woman is educated or has learned a trade, it reduces the burden of the traditional bread winner thus mitigating domestic violence to an extent.
How do you think ordinary women could become change-makers in the society?
Women, by telling their stories which are real life experiences, encourage other women to persist and persevere, but also to develop creative initiatives that can transform their challenges into opportunities.
What’s your personal idea when it comes to female empowerment?
I feel not every family can afford the means to empower their girls through formal education. But communities should encourage women and girls to learn a trade, even hands-on-job so that they are capable of taking care of themselves and other family members. To be candid, I have come to realize that when we educate /empower a girl/woman, you have rescued an entire family and community from ignorance, saved them from the dehumanizing pangs of poverty and spared them from the vicious cycle of dependence.