Friday, 22 July 2011

Celebrating the pillar of our society- women

I stand over a weeping African woman because of my pride
To rub away tears of sorry and replace it with jovialness
To nurture the strength and woman in an African woman
To her, light is glowing and slowly rising to shine its fullest
Let’s heal our women and protect them not to darken her light
Because at the end of the tunnel, there is light for her African women.

One may ask why, in my reading, I came across an article that had a woman’s voice, 22, pleading for the society to be considerate to her by “Walking in her world, walking in her shoe for a day as a woman, as a giver of life” she continued to narrate her story, “I would but for the sake of inconvenience in my life, terminate pregnancy. Are you ready to walk with me? Talk is cheap. Give me choices that will dignify my life,” she said.

A lot has been done to ensure their voice is heard, backtracking to the dark days when they began their long walk of empowering themselves; we had the 1975 Mexico, and subsequent Copenhagen 1980, Nairobi 1985, the 1995 Beijing on gender equality, the Arusha Declaration, Abuja amongst many others on the need to integrate women’s decision making at all avenues.

This 2011 years’ theme is:  “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.”

In October during the launch of Africa Women’s Decade 2010-2020, President Mwai Kibaki and president Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi noted that despite the advancement through government’s effort to implement steps to empower women tangible progress had been made however, returns and completion of girls education was a challenge.

“We will succeed to reduce poverty if women are included in all decision making innovations to improve the overall performance of African economies,” said President Mutharika.

He added; “The declarations have helped bring awareness to the plight of women, but they tend to suffocate one another at the implementation stage. Today women are still being discriminated against; the girl child is struggling to stay in school and complete her education; women still bear the brunt of HIV and AIDS, women are not fully emancipated and are still sexually abused and there are evils of trafficking in women.”

President Kibaki however, noted that, the declarations had ensured women and girls know of their rights.
“More women are now aware of their rights, life expectancy has improved, more girls enrolled in school, while more women earning an income, much more needs to be done, in implementation of various laws and policies geared towards the full realization of the potential of women.”

 As we celebrate the centennial celebrations with various organizations, governments coming on board, how will it be different as Bingu wa Mutharika’s question continue to echo across:

“Have the past efforts towards gender equality been successfull... how do we ensure this decade will see real change for women in Africa?”

President Kibaki cited school drop -out as a result of teenage pregnancy, early marriage and negative social cultural attitudes as impediments to fully empower them noting that education was key to their woes.
“Education holds the key to unlocking many of their obstacles facing women and girls. However, attaining and ensuring completion of education by girls is still a challenge due to dropout rates as a result of teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and negative social cultural attitudes.”

Kenya has made great strides and commitment in ensuring every girl has had an opportunity to enroll in school and complete her education. Moreover, we have great women leaders in Kenya: Nobel laurete Wangari Mathai, Prof.Julia Ojiambo, Miss Rachel Shebesh, Ms Njoki Ndungu, Tecla Namachanja, Conjestina Achienga, Tegla Lourope, Catherine Ndereba ,Ajuma Nasanyana the Turakana model  to name just a few who have acted as role models to the many girls who had seen their lives as hopeless are now hopeful.

Other women who remain a strong pillar in the long struggle of women to rise above orthodox traditions include and not limited to Prof Wangari Maathai, Liberia President Johnson Sir-Leaf, Martha Karua, Atsango Chesoni, author Grace Ogot, Prof. Mirriam Were, Charity Ngilu, Dr. Graca Machel, Hillary Clinton, Lady Justice Ruth Sitati, Njoki Ndung’u, Prof. Julia Ojiambo, High court registrar Lydiah Achode among others.

Kibaki also noted that gender parity was an issue to address because it was also important to ensure education provided opportunities for the women. “More importantly the concern is whether the education provided to girls is free from gender bias and whether it provides equal access to the job market.”

“It is important for the education to girls is free from gender bias and it provides equal access to job market and besides education empowering women also involves enactment of legislation which would guarantee equal access to opportunities and resources,” said Kibaki.

According to the 2007 MDG Civil Society report education for women has been identified as key to their participation in national development. Education is crucial because it enhances the life opportunities of women, and their families. Girl’s education is critically important not only for harnessing the nation’s human resource for development, but also for raising the self-esteem and confidence, and widening the life choices of females, their access to information and knowledge.

Pertinent questions that need to be addressed with urgency, is that access to education is not enough, to see real change for women in Kenya, Africa and the world as a whole.

Equally, poverty rights over key resources are critical to agricultural growth and thus without land ownership rights, women are denied access to credit, training, production support and long term investments in agriculture due to traditional restrictions. In as much as the women do not own as little as 2 percent of land the proportion of female heads of household continues to grow.

We must put rhetoric into action, form our precedent to other stakeholders many have proposed for the need to enacting of legislation which would guarantee equal access to opportunities and resource.

“In Africa there is an urgent need to repeal existing laws and outlaw customs and practices that discriminate women in relation to resources especially land. Specific legislation should be enacted to enable girls to inherit land and to protect the rights of widows we must guarantee women’s property and rights.”

“Many African countries, the land tenure system does not allow women to access land for agric and commercial purposes, credit where land serves as collateral. Put in place policies that recognize the right of women to own land without many conditions as men do.”

Have we achieved?

Looking beyond 2011, several considerations to inform public debate about policy priorities and options: Equity and poverty reduction must be at the forefront of policy design, not add-ons where policy-makers need to consider the likely beneficiaries of measures to promote employment, growth and access to women.

Governments need to understand the local context in development policy by placing people at the centre of development is more than an intellectual exercise.

It means making progress equitable and broad-based, enabling women to become active participants in change and ensuring that achievements are not attained at the expense of future generations.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Nelson Mandela "And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." Nelson Mandela.
Times Magazine called him man of the year in 1993. The man is Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, a hero and a champion for thousands of people in this world. He is highly regarded by many people who look up to him as  model, as the ideal for what they one day hope to become. No one who has met Mandela can fail to be moved by his aura of principle, courage and stubborn optimism. This is what the inspired many have to say about him.

remember, at his 90th, today at 94, he still awakes early each day to face a world full of challenges. He could easily retreat into himself and choose not to help others, instead, he ventures out and does all he can to help and educate those around him.

African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie raise fists upon his release from Victor Verster prison, 11 February 1990 in Paarl. After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. Nelson Mandela was released 11 February 1990. AFP PHOTO ALEXANDER JOE

Mandela , intensely reserved and self-contained, disguises his emotional scars, but this is a man who has buried three of his six children, and one of his three wives. His 27 years behind bars, preceded by almost two decades of under ground struggle and resisitance, effectively destroyed his family.

After he stepped down as president, his son Makgatho, died of an Aids-related condition. Mandela turned this personal tragedy into a blow against the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. He challenged  a deeply ingrained taboo by openly telling the world the cause of his son's death.

In tones of repressed sorrow, he said: " It gives a very bad reflection of members of a family if they do not come out bravely and say " A member of my family has died off AIDS." 

By his acceptance, he has taught us not to hide behind a facade. What a hero!

I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.~ Nelson Mandela- Speech on the day of his release, Cape Town (11 February 1990)

No one would deny his contribution to the world. Yet, the demands on his time remain unrelenting. some of this is self-generated. In retirement, he has established three charitable foundations and made good use of his unrivaled ability.

Oprah Winfrey once said: " What is so so special is that you spend 27 years in prisson, you come out and you do the thing that everyone thought was impossible to do, become president of the nation and change the way people feel about Africa ... I just don't know anybody who deserves this more, or any body who we should be gathered around literally at his feet to say thank for all that he has given the world."

Thompson, an actress said: Nelson's sacrifice is a constant inspiration to me, when i am being paid 5 million pounds for dressing up and pretending to be someone else."

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday dear Tata,

Happy birthday to you.
We love you Tata
We love you Tata
We love you Tata
We love you Tata
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela. Ha hona ya tshwanang le wena (there's no one like you).
Ha hona ya tshwanang le wena, ha hona ya tshwanang le wena.
Yeep yeep!

He shows the world there is more to autism than once thought. He shows the world for every single thing  you cannot do, there is something else you can do. He teaches acceptance through his words:
"The world remains beset by so much human suffering, poverty and deprivation. It is in your hands to make our world better, especially the poor, vulnerable and marginalized. It is now in the hands of your generations to help rid the world of such suffering."

 Date of Birth: July 18, 1918 

Nelson Mandela, Born in the Land of the Sun

Friday, 8 July 2011

South Sudan: A Nation rewriting its History, curving a new path for its people

February, southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Sudan, with 99 per cent of the population opting to split Africa’s biggest country in two.

This was the cry, hopes and aspiration of a nation to entangle itself from chains of oppression.

US President Barrak Obama had said: “Not every generation is given the chance to turn the page on the past and write a new chapter in history. Yet today - after 50 years of civil wars that have killed two million people and turned millions 
more into refugees - this is the opportunity before the people of southern Sudan.”

a member of the Agaar Marol jumping group leaps into the air
 in Juba, cheered on by supporters of independence
 for South Sudan. Photo: Kate Geraghty

This Saturday the Republic of South Sudan will be born, and this will raise a number of practical issues for the country. Change they have been longing for the last 10 years since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, that brought a 17-year stretch of war to a close.

This is what was termed as “A successful vote (that) will be cause for celebration and an inspiring step forward in Africa's long journey toward democracy and justice. Still, lasting peace in Sudan will demand far more than a credible referendum.”

An assurance to the two leaders that the world was behind them in the new chapter they were turning, 15 African Heads of State witnessed what ended decades of conflict, which claimed more than two million lives.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement was led since 1983 by John Garang.He commanded the SPLA/M in 2nd Sudanese civil war (1983 -2005).
he SPLA/M joined the opposition front -National Democratic Alliance in 1989 & signed a comprehensive peace treaty with the Sudan govt in 2005.

Under the agreement, a referendum on independence will be held in the south in January 2011. The SPLM leadership recently endorsed independence for the South, while prior to the peace process it been committed to a united, democratic, federal Sudan.

SPLM leader John Garang died when a Ugandan military helicopter he was in crashed on July 30, 2005 — less than a month after he had become Sudan’s vice-president under the Naivasha Agreement.
South Sudan has large oil reserves & mineral deposits.Though landlocked it has access to the Nile river waters. It also has much livestock.

A look at the history, people of South Sudan

Despite the “Power” games the Independence of South Sudan is a reality & the world’s new state prepares for its tryst with destiny on July 9th.

In Sudan, we are presented with a far less speculative position. Sudan may shock us. It may sadden us.

“The first thing we must do, clearly, is to succeed. We must succeed to strengthen and further entrench democracy in our country and inculcate a culture of human rights among all our people, which is, indeed, happening,” says Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa.

The South also has its challenges that will not go away with a break from Sudan as we know it, and it will also need its leadership to redouble their efforts to foster a national identity that accommodates its own rich diversity and overcomes the historical tribal and political fault lines that were exacerbated by the two civil wars in its modern history.

The young government faces the massive challenges of reforming its bloated and often predatory army, diversifying its solely oil-based economy, and deciding how political power will be distributed among the dozens of ethnic and military factions.

The government must also begin delivering basic services like education, health services, and water and electricity to its more than 8 million citizens.

“We must succeed to rebuild and reconstruct our economies, achieve high and sustained rates of growth, reduce unemployment, and provide a better life for the people, a path on which we have embarked,” Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa.

The realities of the problems that face the country, issues such as oil revenues, debt, border demarcation, security and the status of Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, have solutions and or can be improved for prosperity, employment health, lifestyle, and very friendly environment. Investing our energy to reach a point where they can all listen and concentrate on achieving common goals as South Sudan.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Working Your Way up the Ladder Shannon Suetos

Starting your career will have its ups and downs.  On top of all that you want to be able to work your way up as you go.  This can be easier said than done.

 Show Me the Money

Business owners are concerned about their investments, and their employees are a major investment.  Showing them you are worth extra money is something that will take time and effort on your part.

When you feel it may be time for advancement, prepare yourself before going into a meeting with your supervisor.

Write down why you feel you should get a raise or a promotion — have you made more money for the company?  Can you prove it was your efforts in doing so?  Have you taken on responsibilities that go beyond the call of duty?

Show your supervisor your accomplishments, and prove you are a dedicated part of the team worthy of that promotion.

Be Active

You need to make yourself known.

Speaking up and starting conversations in the office break room can be beneficial.  Having great ideas in meetings will also keep your name at the top of your boss's mind.

Come up with viable ideas.  You don't want to be overly aggressive and be the only one talking, but actively participating in the conversation is a great start.

Make Your Own Position

If you think there is something more you can bring to the table, and then tell your boss about it.  Being able to think outside the box and being creative enough to evolve your current position into a new one could be beneficial.

It shows you have initiative.

Network, Network, Network

You could be stuck in a situation where your company doesn't have room for advancement or a budget for it.

If this is the case, networking can do wonders.  You always need to be making names for yourself, as well as for the company you are working for.  There isn't anything wrong with promoting your skills to other people in your industry.

If you can hone your skills at one job, and they don't have the room, money or insight to pay you what you are worth, then looking elsewhere could be a viable option.  And you can start your search with those great contacts you made at a networking event.

As long as you think ahead, and are always finding ways to improve yourself at work you should be keeping the door open for advancement.  You need to show you are committed to the company, and are able to produce results.

But at the same time, you need to not come off looking like a show off.

Treat everyday like it will be a day you could get a promotion and you will be on the right track.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Waves of love and belonging

Waves of love and belonging
I’ ve in your alacrity to love and understand
That makes me jubilant and excited to be engulfed in your waves of love

Your alluring smile that lured me
With a dimple on your cheek
Makes me gaily and appreciative to you
I sure believe in waves of love

Your sweet, enticing and cajoling voice
I wanna hear and dance to it
Giving me extreme high expectation
To be forever locked in your wisdom of love

Your cordial treat and magic touch
Guides me to the heavenly gates of love
Leaving me forever locked in it
What charm do you posses?

Through your vivacity and high spirits
I found every reason to smile
To feel the warmth of love and care
To be engrossed in your love forever

Waves of love and beauty
You possess
I long to be embraced with
Because the impact was profound
Every time I remember that m0ment.