Women transporting sugarcane bagasse near Kibos shopping centre on October 16, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Empowering women without framing it as a gender war is a crucial aspect of promoting gender equality and inclusivity. Empowering women is not about fighting men; It is about promoting gender equality, which benefits both women and men.

Gender equality is not about women gaining power at the expense of men. It’s about ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their gender, have equal opportunities, rights, and access to resources and benefits.

Gender equality benefits society as a whole because when women are empowered and have equal access to education, employment, and leadership roles, it leads to stronger economies, better governance, and improved overall well-being for communities and nations at large.

Empowering women should be seen as a collaborative effort and not a competition between men and women. Both men and women can work together to challenge and change traditional gender roles, stereotypes, and discriminatory practices. This collaboration can create a more inclusive and equitable society.

Men should be encouraged to be allies in the gender equality movement. They can play a significant role in promoting gender equality by advocating for change, challenging harmful behaviours and attitudes, and supporting women’s voices and leadership. We can highlight the ways in which gender equality benefits men and how they can contribute to creating a more equitable society.

We should celebrate the achievements and contributions of women without downplaying or minimising the achievements of men. Acknowledge the accomplishments of individuals regardless of their gender.

The key is to foster an environment where everyone’s achievements are acknowledged, valued, and celebrated. Gender should not be a factor that determines the recognition of accomplishments, rather, it should be about recognising the talent, effort, and impact of individuals regardless of their gender. This approach promotes an inclusive and equitable society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

We can win this war against gender inequality by creating awareness about gender disparities and the benefits of gender equality for society as a whole, not just for women. Emphasise the positive outcomes that gender equality can bring to families, communities, schools, corporates and businesses. Focus on educating everyone about the importance of gender equality as a shared goal.

It is important to advocate for and implement policies and practices that benefit all individuals, regardless of their gender. Ensure that workplace policies, for example, promote work-life balance, equal pay, and opportunities for both women and men.

There should be equal access to education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and resources for girls/women. All women should have the same access to resources and opportunities as men from a young age.

More women should pursue leadership roles especially those assumed or male-dominated and support their advancement in various fields. Showcase successful female leaders as role models and emphasise their achievements and contributions. We need more women on the decision-making tables, they no longer belong in the kitchen. 

-Ms. Kondoa is communication specialist

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