Our day

Written by Najma Juma | Posted on  11 Mar 2016.

‘’Instead of fighting, we should be pulling together,
and make this journey a joint endeavour.
We are of equal value if only we open our eyes,
at the heart of change is where we become most wise.

Now or never? If not us then who? 
The interest in this movement must come through.
Equality is not a privilege but a human right,
all genders on the spectrum should be able to shine bright. ‘’

It was on the International women’s day earlier in March. The feeling I had for this day was unique, because I am a girl. In some countries like Mali, this day is a considered a holiday. The poem above took me back in 2014, in Chalinze, Pwani region. Once in a lifetime I felt like a teacher, I took part in influencing girls to read books in one of the greatest campaign of building libraries in the country. I never realised how big the problem is until I faced it.The young girls aged between 14-20 in Chalinze secondary school, were only physically present during sessions in the class, the boys dominated discussions.so my friends and I decided to have special classes with girls only  ,we wanted to hear their voices. When we began our sessions, we asked them why they can’t talk. And why do they fear?

One of the girls said: ‘’we can’t speak English well’’, this answer not only spoke about the education defects but also the insecurities within these girls. This is probably one of the root cause, women have a lot of insecurities that denies them in seizing opportunities. In some societies like the Masai, a woman would not even dare to do anything against a man, not because they can’t, they simply are insecure, and feel less important.

The theme in this year is gender parity, if women can’t stand up by themselves then who? There was only one woman in history who contested for a presidential post in my country, women get special seats in the parliament, I call it disability in the name of equality. If women don’t get proper education how can they be competent in seizing opportunities? If they have grown seeing men being the only heroes of society, when will they start thinking to also become heroines? We can’t wait for our portion, we can’t wait to be favoured, let us qualify for equality.