Advocating for Gender Equality
For ages, the issue of discrimination against women and to a large extent gender inequality has been common sight in our societies. There is this chauvinistic notion that men contribute more to the community than women do. But when we observe all this literally the opposite happens in the society. It is the high time that we had all had a positive perspective about the role of women in the society.
Among smarter choices that societies can do is to empower women all the while advocating for equality in both economic and socio-political grounds. Being a radio presenter in an African country, a mother and a wife, I undertook the imitative to empower women through the power of the media. This came at a time when my country was adopting a new constitution and it was necessary to have the mandate of my fellow women folk clearly outlined in the constitution with clauses the safeguard and advocate for equality.
Mobilizing Women to take Leadership Roles through Media
My first step was to meet with the representative of women organization so that we could plan on the necessary steps to undertake in order to achieve our goals. The several meeting that we attended resulted in having out views expressed in the making of the constitution. We were advocating for 1/3 gender rule in the awarding of tenders, representation in legislative matters and also in job opportunities at public offices amongst other representation.
It was a battle which was tough to win because our objectives didn’t have enough support because the women too didn’t have the positive energies to believe that they could take leadership roles. Thus through the radio, I had several programs whereby I would discuss about the roles of women in the society. We discussed a lot about empowerment of women and within no time, some of the womenfolk started getting out of their comfort zones and would share in the ideals that I believed in.
Through consultative meeting with women groups and religious organizations we approached legal counsels for guidance on how we would have our objectives adopted in the new constitution. We formulated our policies and forwarded our proposals to the commission tasked with reviewing the constitution.
To our astonishment, only a few proposals were adopted and this started a fierce battle as we fought to have our voices heard. Something needed to be done and done in good time before the commission wound up their work. After several discussions we decided to call upon women to show up in masses for a peaceful demo as we fought for our right. I mobilized women through the media.
Demonstrations helped Our Voices be heard
During the day scheduled for the demo, the number that showed up didn’t impress me. It meant that a lot had to be done to get women to attend the demo. I decided to renew my campaigns by visiting women groups in the rural areas and also increasing my campaigns in the media as we planned another day for a demo.
This time they didn’t fail because on the day of the demo, they showed up in large number and we matched to the grounds where the constitutional review commission was meeting. We had placards calling for our plight to be addressed and ask for the chairman of the commission to address us.
He declined that day, but two days later, we were invited to give our views. We expressed our predicament and ended up having about 80% of our proposals adopted in the new constitution which was later promulgated that year. The battle was won.