Achieving Gender Equality: Making Work, Work for Women

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children ~ Kahlil Gibran

Women-s Day

Picture Credit: Pinterest

For most African women, work went hand in hand with child care. Be it going to the Shamba or the marketplace, most if not all women would tend to their children as they worked. Today the structures are such that the two do not go hand in hand. Gender equality (see article on Making Gender Equality Work) cannot be achieved when  we continue to put money and the economy before our families. The human person is the most important resource and we seem to have forgotten that. We’ve got the priorities wrong. Our society teaches us that to be successful, we have to climb up the corporate ladder. We’ve got to earn titles and become re-known. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that but what’s the ultimate end? What happens when we’ve got all that? What happens when we put work and money before human beings? Our families suffer. We end up with a malformed youth that later own becomes problem to society and itself.  It does not have to be that way. Work should serve man and not the other way round. Women should not have to choose between having a family and a career. With workplaces that care little about work family balance, many women are forced to operate as if they were men. Let me give an example. What happens when you go to a place where majority of the people are speak English? You have to learn that language in order to fit in. Women have been a minority in the workplace and they’ve found structures that are only accommodate men. Do women have to be like or behave like men in order to be accommodated at the workplace? No, it does not have to be that way. Women do not have to result to freezing their eggs in order to have successful careers or expose their bodies to harmful contraceptive methods in order to ‘make it’. One day we might wake up and realise that there is no one to enjoy all the wealth we have created nor anyone to drive and sustain the economies we have built. But before we get there we will have a humanity that has no soul because of overemphasizing the material as aspects of well being. We can learn from the likes of Safaricom that have créche facilities for staff. Such an arrangement is good for business too. Less turnover and retaining of good talent. Everyone wins …

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Pictures Credited to: True African Art

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