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Happy international women’s day to all women in the world!!

Women’s History month is upon us and every year we culminate it by celebrating Women’s Day on the 8th of March where we acknowledge our existence with no apologies whatsoever.

Women Must Lead!

This year is not different.

Here at Gemini Spice Magazine we have been keen to plunder you with accurate information on the relevance of this month. We began by giving you a brief history on the origins of women’s history month and its significance to women empowerment.

We also gave you a list of ten formidable African women who are breaking barriers and stereotypes and finding space in decision making positions. These include president Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, and the remarkable Ngozi Iweala who is the first ever woman, and African to lead the World Trade Organization.

The aforementioned piece is very much in tandem with the Women’s Day theme ‘Women Must Lead’ and hashtag #ichoosetochallenge

We will continue to give you more tea on women’s history month, so get ready for some catharsis

At Power of World Women, which is an international home I have found maverick women with whom to push the feminist agenda, we created a video targeted to all women in the world, a message to inspire you and motivate you towards this incredible journey.

Hear this! In Russia, Women’s Day is a three-day national holiday where people do not go to work, to school or do anything. Women in that country celebrate the holiday by spending time with the women who are closest to them and simply taking care of themselves. And I think, that is just justice.

Thus, we ushered international women’s day in pride and style!

Here in Nairobi, my home, Women in Social justice centers in partnership with relevant organizations orchestrated a day’s event themed ‘Women Must Lead’ in Kayole Social Hall.

How we celebrated Women’s Day at Kayole Social Hall

The event was chaired by the great Editar Ochieng‘ and was in partnership with initiatives not limited to Life and Peace Institute, Africa Voice of Nature, Coalition of Grassroots Women initiatives, Feminists for Peace Rights and Justice Center, Ukombozi Library, Haki Africa, Femnet among others.

Among the many activities of the day were:

LPI for example, is concerned with disseminating knowledge of policy implementation to increase the representation of women,” echoed Mohamed Malicha of LPI.

Sarah Wangui, who is based in Dandora, is part of Coalition of Grassroots Women Initiative. These group of women began knitting affordable ‘breasts’ for women who lose their breasts after breast cancer.

In her words, “After your breast has been amputated, a woman looks unbalanced. But the prosthetics are extremely expensive. They cost 80,000. So, we started knitting these breasts that cost only Kshs.1,000.”

As a woman who is invested in amassing and spreading knowledge about breast cancer, which affected approximately 16% of women in Kenya in 2020, these are women I personally celebrated.

You might be tempted to think that this was a young women event (probably between the age of 18 and 35, right?)  but photos don’t lie. This event was not only open to older women who have found a space in feminism, but also young girls who are our future.

“My children did not go to school today; they must learn about women’s day” said Editar referring to her two warriors who were present in the event. Kudos to her young girl who always carries a sanitary pad to lend to a girl who doesn’t have. “It feels good to help someone who didn’t have.” Said Shian, age 11.
  • We also took time in focused group discussions (in our respective social justice centers) to design initiatives aimed at women empowerment to implement during this second phase of Covid 19.

Angela Hope from Kibera Social Justice who helped 50 girls and 23 boys get jobs during lockdown promised to raise the number to 100.

  • To end the event, we had a panel discussion in which, yours truly, was a panelist. Other panelists included Marylize Biubwa of Bi-Kind Initiative, Carol Ng’ang’a of Msingi Trust, Alfred Abuka aka Menstrual daddy, Bridig Songok and others.
From Left to Right. Wambui Ochieng’, Carol Ng’ang’a, and Marylize Biubwa.

Apart from sharing the milestones we have made and challenges we have encountered in our respective areas and; we also discussed the things that we have chosen to challenge this year.

I, for instance, choose to challenge:

-Women work positions except CEO, leader and founder.

-The notion that my tits are more important than my wits; and

-Every barrier and stereotype set my path

Bridig Songok, an intelligent woman who lives with a disability demanded the inclusion of sexual reproductive health and rights for women living with disability.

The height of the panel was when we began a protest to free sanitary pads for every girl in Kenya. I believe this is a must for us. There is no reason, none whatsoever that pads should be for sale and you can find my witty banter on an article I wrote here.

These amazing photos were taken by a great photographer goes by the name MYLES KE.

There you have it people, that's how we did it. What do you think? Were you aware it was Women's Day? How did you celebrate? Leave a comment down here. 

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By Wambui Ochieng'

Radical Feminist

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