HUNDREDS of women paraded the streets of Honiara on 8 March 2021 to mark International Women’s Day (IWD).
This annual event is celebrated around the world under various themes.
For this year, the theme is:
“Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”
The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.
It also highlights the desire of women in general to be equal partners in leadership and decision-making.
But this year’s theme was decided on in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on women.
The impact of covid-19 on the country and across the world was not a secret.
We know the world economy is reeling and international borders, albeit some relieve in travel restrictions recently, remain close.
What we don’t know much about is the impact the pandemic is having on women, girls, people with disabilities, women in rural and remote areas and older women.
Women are just not mothers.
They are also breadwinners and caregivers.
In the local context, women are everything a home could have.
They get up early to cook, clean the home and ensure food is ready for dinnertime.
In many cases, they sacrificed their share of the meal just to ensure their children and other members of the household have enough to eat.
Their roles in the household have been hugely challenged as a result of the pandemic.
This is why the theme for this year’s IWD calls for equitable and affirmative actions and special measures that ensure women’s representation and participation and women’s voices and experiences are made integral to all COVID-29 response and recovers initiatives, produces and processes.
This is critical to meet the aim of an equal future in the context of recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the pandemic remains, it’s encouraging to see the huge advances some of our women and girls are making in terms of economic participation and leadership.