I chose the word commemorate instead of celebrate for different reasons.
I want to talk about how I made the International Women's day 2019 memorable for myself and others. To begin with, the theme for this year was significant from two perspectives. #BalanceforBetter makes me think of two types of balances. The balance we women have or should strive to have with ourselves and with other sisters, and the balance of between the genders. All these balance for me are for the better.
I started going on air as early as the 4th of March as a guest on the Catholic radio and TV broadcasting media house called Veritas - the truth will set you free. You see, I am already a household name in my country especially in my community - and I am often invited to talk about pertinent societal issues like abuse and of all forms, mostly drawing from my personal experiences. The candour with which I share make them invite me 3 times a year at least. I love going there too. I commemoration of my womanhood and my journey so far, I had a very authentic and even vulnerable 1 hour with the host.
The next day 5th of March I was on another platform called LTM TV where I was talking specifically about the sexual abuse of girls and women - the focus was on the vicious and consistent rape of 10 years old Fortune who had died on the 25th of February from complications. My advocacy was that if we didn't put an end to such sexual abuse especially of young girl and babies even, where was society going to have the kind of women it needed? I mean strong, resilient, hardworking and even God fearing women.
The very next day at 10 am I accompanied my mum and a panel of ladies to a daily show called in the House. The topic was the Challenges of female entrepreneurship and leadership. That too was so beautiful. The advocacy here was that we women had to stand up and push on. We had to keep hustling for our own financial independence, while asking assertively for a seat on the table - or better still draw up our own table like Meghan Markel Duchess of Sussex once advocated in a speech at the UN Women.
Thursday the 7th of March I went on air twice. At midday I did a Facebook live video to celebrate a very enterprising World Pulse sister here by name Agnes Kuoh. She has a foundation called Agui Foundation which trains women to be self reliant by doing a lot of stuffs they needed at home, and why could also be sold to gain some financial independence. She and I have met and bonded and I really appreciate her. I had already been on TV the prior week talking once more about female entrepreneurship using her example. AT 6 pm the evening, mum and I along with 3 other dynamic young ladies once more made up a panel to discuss a re-strategy of the IWD concept especially in our country which had infamously become renowned for excesses in drinking and debauchery of some women on the 8th of March. My mum seized the opportunity to announce the launch of her coaching and mentoring program.
Thursday 8th of March D Day proper, over 15 ladies were convened at my mum's Diversity Management and Consulting Ltd firm for the launch of the " Coach a girl to thrive program'. We had over an hour of training from her and fruitful discussions by all present. We ended the day with a little office cocktail, while I sat down soon thereafter to do a live video calling on women celebrate themselves and one another not only on that day but always. We women had to learn to be a sister's sister and be there for one another like Michelle Obama famously encouraged.
Celebration is not the appropriate word for me when we think of what is going on in my country in the two English speaking regions of my country. A civil unrest poorly managed has left hundreds dead, some hundreds exiled, and many more hundreds internally displaced. To commemorate is defined as to serve as a memorial or reminder of; to honor the memory of by some observance of a day set aside by the international community for women to do the most they can to say "Look at us, we deserve to be noticed too, and we are here to stay, stop abusing us and relegating us to the back seat".
The other days of that symbolic week were spent doing live videos on other aspects of our womanhood in my capacity as a survivor of Domestic Abuse, as founder of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, as a psychotherapist and above all as a Christian. I equally participated to the best I could to activities organized by my church for the women - these took place on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th March. I can only be honest to say I have never commemorated any IWD as passionately, purposefully and holistically as I did this one. I am most grateful to the universe for the energy and opportunities.Change starts with a story.