The International Women’s Day is globally celebrated every 8th March to commemorate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day is formally recognized to accelerate gender parity, unity, reflection, advocacy and action for women’s rights and equality.
It is well known that women are disproportionately affected by poverty and patriarchal power structures. In many cultures it has taken women to fight twice as hard to attain political, economic and social freedoms. Across the world this is a struggle that is still ongoing and must continue to ensure that there is no regression on the gains women have attained so far, society is unable to fully function when one half of it is disenfranchised.
Inspired by recent female leadership all over the world and as I reflect on March being a women’s month and its meaning in our every day, I realize that since inception, the representation and the space that women hold across all levels of engagement within Urban Change Lab has been intentionally designed. The women within UCL continue to break barriers in the artisanal space, within the context of this year’s theme “I choose to Challenge” this is a daily reality.
Urban Change Lab is continuously evolving within this space. There is three-fifths women representation in the UCL boardroom and over the years the platform has registered one hundred and two female artisans and women-owned businesses spanning across Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana. With an age range of twenty to sixty years, women are the most active generating the most revenue, this is a fact that we are immensely proud of.
While The International Women’s Day highlights and amplifies the achievements and challenges of women, we choose to celebrate women, especially our partners every day. We value their input and the growth they derive from our partnership. The celebration does not need to end on this day or this month, every day should be a day to honour women and the role they play in society. We start this by saying a hearty thank you to our UCL team, and all our women partners who have contributed immensely to the growth of UCL. We pledge to continue creating space where all the women we work with are heard, respected and feel valued.