Invest in women to make the world a better place for all


Volcafe’s Grace Murungi (second from left) is promoting gender equality through a training model called GALS. These Maasai women became GALS champions. Photo | FIle

What you need to know:

  • Many women are heroines (including unsung heroines), and they need opportunities and empowerment so that they can show the power they have and their capabilities

Women are unique human beings in many ways, and the most beautiful creation of the universe. However, explaining all the attributes that make them unique is not easy. One of the special attributes that makes them special and unique is their strong willingness to struggle to overcome the hardships of life.

A woman is a mother to her children, a wife to her husband, a sister to her siblings, and a daughter to her parents. She serves many roles in all aspects of life—socially, economically, and politically/leadership. Most of the time, when given an opportunity, she does wonders!

Women have power that can influence and change the world to be a better place for everyone. Many women are heroines (including unsung heroines), and they need opportunities and empowerment so that they can show the power they have and their capabilities. No wonder William Golding said, "Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.”

Likewise, a well-known African Proverb emphasises the importance of educating women within a society. The proverb goes thus: “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” That shows that by empowering women with education, you enhance their own lives and empower them to be agents of change as they inspire the young generations within their families, communities, and the nation.

 A powerful quote by Diane Mariechild, a renowned writer, has also said all about the power of a woman, “A woman is a full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform.” That means a woman is full of creativity and knowledge that can shape herself during difficult circumstances and transform the world into a better place using her great thoughts and ideas.

 Due to the crucial roles women play in inspiring and being the agents of change within society, both at local and international levels, a special day on March 8 annually was set aside; The International Women's Day (IWD), to honour or celebrate the roles they play in all aspects of our lives. The purpose of IWD is to celebrate achievements attained by women socially, economically, culturally, and politically. This day also raises awareness and educates society about the equality of women.

 According to the UN Women,"Gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge. Thus, investing in women is a human rights imperative and cornerstone for building inclusive societies. Progress for women benefits us  all."

 The theme for IWD 2024 is Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress. It focuses on supporting and investing in women to make things better for everyone and create a healthy planet for future generations.

The theme also works towards achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 by 2030, which strives to empower women and girls by ensuring equal access to education, economic opportunities, and freedom from violence.

Investing in women will be a game changer because we can bring changes and speed the transition towards a safe, healthier, and more equal world for all. Likewise, the pressing world challenges, like poverty, climate change, and political conflicts, can be addressed by using the solutions that empower women.

 Women serve many roles within our society but remain unsung heroines. They (we) are under-appreciated by society, as they do not get their due credit for the well-performed tasks.

 It is, therefore, crucial that the multiple roles played by women to better the world for the welfare of every member of society be recognised and appreciated. The society should treat women well, respect them with dignity, value them, and support them. Yes, we can make the world a better place for us all to live by investing in women and protecting their rights and those of girls.

Dr. Saumu Jumanne is a Lecturer at Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE).