As the world commemorated the International Women’s Day, the Canadian High Commission to Kenya emphasized the need for gender equality.
The High Commission on Thursday night hosted a party to celebrate women’s day at their offices situated along Limuru Road, Gigiri.
Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Lisa Stadelbauer said Gender equality is a problem everywhere, including Canada and in Kenya and investing in gender equality magnifies all other development reforms.
“Educated women tend to marry later, have fewer children and healthier families,” she said.
She added that when women and girls can control their decisions regarding their sexuality and reproductive rights, child mortality rates decrease, maternal health improves and families thrive.
“Give women equal voices, equal rights and equal access, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on what one can contribute to promoting gender equality,” said Stadelbauer.
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is believed to be an important power point in the movement for women's rights.
Contestants from the Ms President reality show, which the Canadian High Commission is one of the sponsors, were among the Very Important Persons (VIPs) to grace the event.
Reality TV show has re-ignited the debate on women and leadership. The show which airs on KTN Home every Wednesday 8-9 pm has already attracted more than 1 million viewers according to statistics from Geopoll.
The show has received mixed reactions; the reactions from viewers on social media have been largely positive.
“These women are amazing. #MsPresident” said Souad Said on Twitter.
A user know as Global voice said, “Hope this will go beyond media attention”
“This is a good direction for the 50-50 reps in parliament, not just assigning women seats because they're women, Good job, I’m waiting eagerly now #MsPresident” posted Nderitu Kelvin.
While another user was concerned that there were a couple of MCA’s in the show
“Feels like Ms President was developed for MCAs (Member of County Assembly) to launch themselves into the national limelight! Who is handling their duties as they compete for celebrity status?” said Shisia.
Ms President attracted women leaders of all ages and from different backgrounds. The show aims to expand the spectrum of leadership beyond political leadership which is often the default definition of leadership among Kenyans.
The leadership show aims to equip these women with further leadership skills and enable them to grow as leaders that can take up high positions in the society and be part of the decision makers of the country be it in politics, economy or society.
As the conversation continues around women leadership, Ms President Reality TV Show hopes to get the discussion going and changing the perceptions of women leadership into positive and supportive. Therefore, creating a ground for more women to obtain more seats in leadership.
Betty Adera, a contestant representing Nairobi and a budding politician, noted that she expects the show to capacity build and train them to sharpen further their leadership skills in various sectors that are important like education and governance to leadership.
She also expects the show to answer the question that, can Kenya trust women to lead and be their president?
“I think there are incredible women in the academy that if given the right kind of exposure and training can actually give a shot at the presidency in the future,” Adera said.
She added: “the show is going to give women the platform to nurture the leadership skills in various ways as there will be development and cross fertilization between the women themselves.”
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke