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International Women’s Day – Women Empowerment

International Women’s Day is celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide. It is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender equality. The aim of celebrating this every year is to achieve full gender equality for women all over the world, which has still not been accomplished.

In 2017,women effectively worked for 51 days of the year because of the gender pay gap.  In some work places in some of African major companies’ women are paid less than half what men are paid. Furthermore, women sometimes may lose their positions in organizations after going on maternity leave to take care of their new born babies. Women must have the freedom and equal right to work alongside men in all spheres. Women must be given the liberty to profess an independent outlook, whether they age, living inside their homes or working outside (working women).

Women empowerment should not be limited to urban working women. Women in even remote towns and villages are encouraged to make their voices heard loud and clear in society.  Educated or not, they are asserting their social and political rights and making their presence felt regardless of their social – economic backgrounds. Unfortunately, women still face exploitation and harassment in different forms including, emotional, physical, mental and sexual. They are often subjected to rape, abuse and other forms of physical and intellectual violence and discrimination.

Empowerment acts as a powerful tool against exploitation and harassment of women. It also builds the confidence of women in their ability to lead purposeful lives. It removes their dependence on others and makes them individuals in their own rights. If women are given equal opportunities, the global economy will be adversely affected as women constitute the majority of the world’s population.

To borrow the words of the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of a woman”.

An empowered woman is surely the bed rock of every nation. If women understood and exercise their power they could turn the world around and make it a better place.

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