Thursday, 20 November 2014

October- The Ladies’ Month

October is always a very interesting month for the female folk. It is that time of the year when the world pays close attention to various issues affecting women! Itisfor instance the breast cancer awareness month, (every October 11 is the International day of the girl).But also because there was random and particular coverage of general issues affecting women in the world- the so-called ‘women issues’- in the media. In my country, we had four pages of a key national newspaper dedicated to the International day of the girl, with the role of my first lady in these celebrations carefully highlighted. I bet feminists that campaigned for such focus five decades and more ago were smiling in their graves and the living felt rewarded. Among the issues randomly covered in the media was ‘the Taboo menstruating in India’ and street harassment in New York
Both articles confirmed that every October is indeed a month for the female folk. The articles only highlighted the issues that women confront everyday, in different societies. Issues that have been normalized and will only receive focus in October next year-if at all. I do appreciate the focus but it is all a half-baked cookie. For instance, since it was the breast cancer awareness month, women got discounted pap-smear tests and free breast cancer screening in different hospitals in the city. This was a great initiative but it ought to be conducted through the year- considering that a majority of Kenyan women cannot afford such tests. Also, are such testing centers like this available in the village? Not really.
This is my way of saying that October is a blessing in disguise for women issues, but it is also over-rated causing it to be a challenge. The real challenge is as a result of setting aside a particular month for women issues-Women concerns continue to lag behind the global and national agenda because they are separated from society issues. October has almost become like December, the Christmas-month or the Ramadan month. Like these religious months, it is easy to postpone women issues until that time of the year- despite the fact that most women are affected by most of these issues through out the year and the issues are intertwined in other society issues. If this remains the case, women and their fundamental concern swill remain at the bottom of critical agenda and will be kept waiting for another October before these issues are raised again (okay I may sound extreme but this is the reality).

In turn, men that occupy key decision-making posts will never understand the need to put these issues on whatever agenda. Men will still not understand why sanitary towels should be made free or cheaper for girls. They will not bother to understand certain diets for female teenagers in high schools.Sex and reproductive education in mixed schools will remain a topic that teenage boys giggle about. As for the women, they will remain apologetic for their anatomy, and elderly women will continue speaking in hushed tones when discussing the female body. Sex and everything else it comes with like condoms and contraceptives will remain  ‘the sweetest taboo’- to never talk about until marriage. If the October hype continues, we will never have male feminists that understand gender inequalities and strive to address them in our society.  We will continue to have bitter female feminists that campaign for the wrong causes and often bring their understandable emotions to dealing with issues affecting women.Then, sadly, we will never be the kind of feminists that Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie hoped for. Check the video below or visit this link here

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


who am i?
what do i see when i look in the mirror?
what do people say or think when they see me?
Do they see my color?
Do they see my talent?
Do they see ME?
Do I see ME?

These are some of the question most girls, young women and mature women ask themselves each day about themselves. Is it that we are brainwashed with what we see on media and social networking sites, trying too hard to fit into the 'right type' that inevitably forget who we are?

One of the most talked about item concerns race but most of all color; racial color. I watched the following video which stressed some of the concerns young women and girls face as they grow up, whether in Africa or the global world.

Although not in the same situation as that of Professor Yaba Blay - founder of (1)ne drop, many of us have experienced discrimination one way or the other based on their nothing else but their color.
which begs the question, "what is and is it to be dark skinned or light skinned, and what effects does it have on the little girl growing up in this digital age where light is considered better, but is it?"

I hope the following documentary covered reported by Soledad O'brien, provides you with a hind sight of identifying who you are or what are.


Tyra banks also talked about what color is and why people think that being lighter is better. does that mean being darker your are not good or even better? does it mean that you are any less of a person?

by Caroline Mbinda