At a recent graduation ceremony, Seed of Hope Chairperson Mwikali Muthiani had some very wise words to share with students so we thought we would ask for her thoughts for International Women’s Day…
Do you think there should be equality for women?
Yes of course.
Equality is about ensuring that men and women, girls and boys receive the same access to freedoms, rights and opportunities. Ensuring that no one is denied an opportunity because of their gender.
What examples of gender inequality have you experienced and how have you overcome them?
You walk into room with a male colleague and many assume you are the assistant and not the boss. Being expected to pray at a meeting not only because I am a Christian, but because I am a woman. The woman is always being aligned to that which is administrative, while the man is elevated to a position of leadership even when they are hopeless at it. These perceptions continue to limit opportunities for equality and we have to overcome them through challenging status quo and availing opportunity to all without bias.
What do you think makes women empowered?
When they are given a task and trusted to deliver. And when they do they are affirmed and given due credit.
Why is empowerment important to women?
Women need to know their worth and not settle for less.
As Chairperson for Seed of Hope, what role do you see the organisation having in promoting gender equality?
Encouraging our students to undertake any training that suits their skills and strengths best. I hope to see more girls training to be mechanics and more boys in fashion and design.
What messages would you share with both young men and women to encourage gender equality?
To respect and encourage one another. To see the best in the other person irrespective of their gender and support them to fulfil their potential. Like the Africa saying goes, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, walk with others. We are created to complete each other in a divine way and this cannot happen where respect lacks.