Why we should ‘Count Her In’


What you need to know:

  • The aim is to create new and unique experiences through RWI and challenge employers and policymakers to invest more in women and give them room for growth

Dar Salaam. Achieving gender equality and women’s well-being in all aspects of life is more crucial than ever to create prosperous economies and a healthy planet.

As we embark on our fourth edition of The Citizen Rising Woman Initiative (RWI), this year’s theme, Count her In, is in alignment with the UN theme for International Women’s Day 2024, which is Count her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.

As Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) empowers the nation, we also aim to create new and unique experiences through RWI and challenge employers and policymakers to invest more in women and give them room for growth as they accelerate and make decisions in their careers.

Mr Edson Sosten, the acting head of Marketing and Events at MCL, said that this year’s theme goes beyond a simple celebration. It encourages everyone to actively participate in recognising women in all aspects of life.

He said Count Her In takes the spotlight as a powerful call to action, building on the themes from previous years, Woman, We Celebrate You in 2021, #SheLeads in 2022, and #SheCan in 2023.

“So, why Count Her In? This theme is about including and valuing what women bring to the table. It is a loud declaration that women are not just watching from the sidelines, but they are vital contributors shaping our shared future,” said Mr Sosten.

Adding to that, he said that in selecting “Count Her In” as the theme for RWI 2024, we embark on a journey that actively acknowledges, includes, and empowers women. The theme will shift from just celebrating the IWD to active participation through a series of interviews for both print and online platforms.

“As we dive into this edition, let’s wholeheartedly embrace the theme, count each woman in, and collaboratively contribute to a future that is more inclusive and equitable,” adds Mr Sosten.

The UN has listed five key areas that need joint action: investing in women, human rights, ending poverty, implementing gender-responsive financing, shifting to a green economy and caring for society, and supporting feminist change-makers.

Sharing the rationale behind The Citizen aligning this year’s RWI theme with the UN theme, managing editor Mpoki Thomson said: “We chose the UN theme ‘Count Her In’ because it touches on the core goals of our initiative, which are centred on investing in women and accelerating progress.

He said that MCL believes that the more women are empowered, the more we enable them to grasp the vast opportunities that are available, and the more we trim the gender gap in the corporate structure.

Going with this theme will challenge the majority of women to get out of their comfort zones, as the theme itself calls for women’s inclusion by investing in them and seeing the progress they are able to make in their career journey.

The theme is an opportunity to challenge organisations and our community at large to take deliberate measures to count each woman in different walks of life.

Beyond storytelling, our Rising Woman awards resonate with the theme, as the aim of the awards is to recognise organisations that promote gender equality. The submitted entries for award consideration will definitely fall under how organisations and employers include women in their daily operations.

Mr Thomson called for organisations and other gender equality champions to participate in this year’s RWI for the company to be able to gain insights into the opportunities and challenges that women encounter, learn how to lead with authenticity, clarify personal values, and determine their fit within the organisational culture.

“It will be an opportunity to expand your network and connect with women, minorities, and their allies, as well as gain a full and honest picture of their strengths, developmental needs, and priorities,” added Mr Thomson.

RWI is an idea that started in a boardroom and has blossomed into a brand that celebrates women’s achievements. It is a platform for highlighting the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve equality for women and also sharing solutions.

Since its inception three years ago, the project has profiled more than 200 women and been able to tell their stories, which are now motivating other women. Here’s to another round of empowering women and sharing various milestones.