Culture

Women’s Day: What To Ponder

Aline Akintore, COO for RwandaOnline will be on the panel of discussants

On this International Women’s Day, the Global Shapers Community in Kigali will have a conversation on ‘Shaping women for top corporate positions’. The discussion will take place discussion this evening at the Innovation Village (Kigali Public Library rooftop).

This will provide a platform for women from different positions to come together, tackle the issue and provide possible solutions. “We want to have a conversation on women in the corporate space. Talk on the gender disparity when it comes to things like pay, promotions…” says Ephraim Rwamwenge, a Global Shaper. “We want to discuss how some women “make” it and why they do? We want to know how they manage to overcome the challenges like sexual corruption.”

Equity for women is progress for all, and this conversation is needed to accelerate gender parity on some of the issues slowing down the development of the private sector.

This year’s campaign intends to raise awareness on the importance of gender equality to both business and sustainable development. Some of the benefits in closing gender gaps in labor markets include reduced poverty among the people, children have access to better education, increase in agricultural production and economic growth.

The UN Women Deputy Representative to Rwanda, Fatou Aminata has stated that gender inequality poses a critical economical challenge. She is informed that the gap between men and women’s labor force participation is 26%; women on an average are paid 24% less than men.

“There is strong evidence showing that women earn less, have fewer assets and are largely concentrated in vulnerable and low-paying activities.” Stated Aminata.

Since International Women’s Day began, the world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in thoughts about women’s rights.

With more women in boardrooms, parliaments, top corporate positions including presidents, one may think that the fight for women has been worn, when in the contrary, more setbacks continue to present themselves.

International Women’s Day has been observed for well over a century, since the early 1900’s and it continues to grow providing advocacy and creating more awareness. The theme for 2017’s Women’s Day; ‘Be bold for change’, goes to show that the struggle for equality lies in the hands of each individual. It does not belong to the government neither any organization nor any feminist but the people.

Rwanda is one of the countries at the forefront fighting for the rights of women. It has more number of women in parliament (64%) compared to men and has provided many platforms for women to become leaders and develop.

Nonetheless, the unfortunate fact is that there is still a long way to go and there is still plenty to be done for the total elimination of radical ideologies among the population. Gender disparities in payments and promotions, sexual corruption are just some of the hindrances that happen within the private sector and threatening the accomplishments attained this far.

 

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