UPLIFT A FELLOW WOMAN TODAY

 

 

Vogue says thinner is better? Perfection Is a disease

I really don’t know what has come upon us humans that we now act as if God gave us the mandate to judge other people based on how they live their lives. I am particularly concerned on cyber bullying in Kenya and how it is evolving. It is not uncommon to have a picture doing rounds on social media on a person’s physical looks which ends up as a meme most of the times. I am also concerned about how women have jumped into the bandwagon and redefined cyber bullying in Kenya. At first we had our men complaining about how we females look, like you are too skinny, you are too fat and you …you are too dark. Needless to say, we had celebrities who came in the limelight and proved that dark is beautiful too and we had a section of our men now appreciating the darker skinned women. What happened next? Pictures of lighter skinned females posted online now had the caption lightskin is not equal to beauty. Of course we all know color should not be a determinant for beauty but hey, why would you use some ones imperfections to feel good about yourself?

Our women have taken cyber bullying to another level where war is brewing between Kenyan women, whether residing in Kenya, abroad, women married to white men living abroad or in Kenya, who are now referred to as BYMs (Bibi ya Mzungu)  I Guess if you are married to a Kenyan man that translates to  Bibi ya Mkenya? Whatever these women are fighting about trust me are things that should be non-issues. Why would you be concerned if a woman is married to an older man and coin a name like ‘fossil’ to constantly refer to someone’s husband? Why would you be concerned if another woman has a lower paying job abroad than you in Kenya? Why would you be concerned that another woman’s child is darker skinned than your ‘pointee’ children and post shaming photos of the said family with spiteful messages? And here I was thinking that children are a blessing from God!

UPLIFT

Why will you as a woman take it upon yourself to bring out a fellow woman’s secret to a bunch of online strangers just because you fell out? What happened to the old fashioned friendship where secrets were well kept even after a fall out! We do not want to know who was picked from a strippers club in Mombasa, we do not want to know whether your ex-bff has not paid mortgage, whether her mother lives in a dilapidated house in the village when she travels the world among others what we want to know is if a woman asks you online how to obtain a visa or work permit in that country, can you help with information? If she wanted to start a business at home and asks you on the export business would you be in a position to answer a question or two? Matters of importance!

I am even more concerned that the perpetrators of these acts are not just young teenage girls but mothers to one, two, three or seven children. What kind of image do you want your kids to learn about you when they are online? You have heard the internet never forgets, with screenshots being re-posted every one second that passes. Ladies, It is not like there is a crown on who can hurl the best insults online. It has been said that cyber bullies are people who are unhappy with their lives and are projecting their frustrations to others to feel good about themselves but we all know throwing shade at another person’s candle will not make yours burn any brighter and maybe it is time to seek help?

As you can see, I am all about understanding why a woman will derive joy by trying to bring a fellow woman down knowing how hard life can be.

 

 

30% of contracts to be given to the youth, women and persons with disability. Kenya

Hello everybody? Did you know the government is in the process of registering and pre-qualifying youth, women and persons with disability owned enterprises so that they can access government tenders and contracts? I have been meaning to enlighten you on this and here i go:

If you did not, you should know that Procuring entities are now mandatorily required to allocate at least 30% of their procurement spend for the purpose of procuring goods, works and services from micro and small enterprises owned by youth, women and persons with disability.
These procurement(s) include:
• Supply and delivery of flowers
• Provision of cleaning services
• Provision of garbage collection services
• Supply and delivery of newspapers, journals and magazines
• Supply and delivery of mobile phone air time
• Provision of printing services

• Provision of labor contracts
• Bush clearing
• Provision of motor vehicle repair
• Provision of repair services for office equipment and machines
• Event organizing
• Design and branding of promotional materials such as T/shirts, caps, banners and posters
• Photocopy and videography
I know you are asking yourself, how do I go about it? Well its simple: you need the following: Identity Card(s)/Passport(s).
• Business Registration Certificate/ Certificate of Incorporation.
• PIN/VAT Certificate.
• Tax Compliance Certificate.
• Partnership Deed for Partnership Business.
• Memorandum/Articles of Association and CR12 mandatory for Registered Companies.
• For Construction Category – Letter/Certificate from the National Construction Authority, Energy Regulatory Commission or any other Authorized Public Technical Body.
Remember This program applies to youth aged 35yrs and below and you must have at least 70% ownership of your business
 

AGPOpicture courtesy: agpo.go.ke

For more information you can look up http://agpo.go.ke/

30% Government procurement preference provision for the youth.

 

 

 

ATTITUDE IS KEY TO FIGHTING SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Sexual violence in Kenya has been on the rise lately, and with the various organisations that have been put in place to help victims of sexual violence, a lot needs to be done since most people are now asking the victims questions which should not even be asked in the first place, taking the case of a female member of parliament in Kenya who accused a colleague of sexual violence, looking at the social media we could see people asking her why she was meeting a man at such a time. Are women now not allowed to be out at night?
Remember the time street harassment was taking up in Kenya which sparkled the #MydressMyChoice campaign? It was also not uncommon to find individuals pointing fingers at the victim’s way of dressing and others openly saying that the victims deserved to be raped. Well, school children get raped, our grandmothers too! So sexual violence should not be a question of dressing at all. What about those instances where victims of sexual violence report to police officers on duty in police stations and end up experiencing the same ordeal once again and threats are issued for them not to report to anyone what happened?
This kind of attitude will spark fear in the hearts of those who have experienced sexual violence and they will not come out for help. This will also cripple all the concerted efforts of both governmental and Non-governmental Organizations to help victims of sexual violence. This poses a danger to their lives due to the psychological trauma one may experience not forgetting the adverse health risk an individual faces.
I am happy to note that Nyeri County took a step in helping victims of violence by setting up a Gender based violence desk at the Nyeri Central Police Station where victims can report these instances. All other leaders, especially women representatives in various counties should follow closely in these footsteps to help achieve justice for victims of sexual violence countrywide. What step has your county taken to end SGBV?

Money and Relationships?

Have you heard of this saying, ‘do not mix business with women?’ I think we should have one that goes like do not ‘mix money and relationships?’ Lately, I have been thinking about something that three of my friends have been going through and I would like to hear your thoughts on it. Before I continue, ladies would you give your man, I mean boyfriend money for whatever reason? We find that most ladies will give a negative response to this question probably from an experience but some few others will try and give an answer like, ‘yes if only he is need’. I really do not know what defines the need aspect.
It is not uncommon after a break to hear ladies complaining about how they gave their men money which was not refunded. Others complain about how they went out and ended paying for dinner and generally took care of their men! When asked why they did that, all they can say is that they really loved the person. I really don’t think it is alright for people in relationships to be borrowing money from each other especially in dating stage. If in marriage, I think it is just fine. But in this day and age, money seems to be what holds relationships. Catch me dead asking money from a man! What happened to the men who would rather ask money from their friends rather than their girlfriends anyway? What with the increasing number of men who are now looking up to women for financial support? Why?

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Women, why do you give men money? What are you trying to prove to him? Are you trying to make him stay? It’s really annoying when a woman tells you how she did everything for her man and he left, how she took care of him, neglected herself and even her family because she gave him her money, and what really irks me is a campus girl who tells you how she lied to her parents about a week long trip to Mombasa in order to get that extra cash to spare for her boyfriend. This is no longer love my friend, but it is insecurity. A relationship should involve people who can take care of themselves and by that I mean people who are responsible. Some partners are really good at taking advantage of others’ generosity and it is important to set boundaries because money has been known as the reason many relationships ended.
In my opinion, a man will not ask for cash from a woman he loves. Same as women will not ask for cash from the man they love. Sorry guys, but if she been asking for money from you, you are just but a walking ATM to her. .

Abuse Has No Place In Love.

So it’s February, the month of love as many people call it. The 14th day of February is just a few days away and most shopping outlets are fully stocked with chocolates and teddy bears. A friend of mine has been having issues in her relationship calling it on and off and the other day she told me she wanted to meet with her ex-boyfriend and make up. Considering whatever she had said about him, I could not really understand why she wanted to go back to him until she told me she did not want to be alone on Valentines Day.

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I really did not understand how a person would go back to an abusive relationship whether financially, emotionally, physically, verbally because of a Single day or even stay in an abusive relationship for that matter. Nobody chooses to be in an abusive relationship but somebody somewhere chooses to stay in an abusive relationship. First of all, many people do not really understand what an abusive relationship is and it is often perceived as the physical abuse where we see husband and wife battering cases but there is more than that. I would like to shed some light on other forms abusive relationships that nobody should be part of.
Emotionally abusive relationships. These are relationships in which affects the physical and mental health and may cause psychological damage. For example if your partner accuses you of having affairs and also if your partner is having affairs.
Physically abusive relationships involve the use of physical force or strength to hurt your partner, which is the most experienced and widely known form of abuse in most relationships. This may include slapping your partner, hitting and punching them.

abuse

Verbally abusive relationships are characterized by the use of words to hurt your partner which may include name calling, insult and even silent treatment.
You do not have to stay in a relationship that no longer fulfils you, one you feel threatened. It is no longer love when there is abuse in a relationship. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship it is important to seek help from the many organisations and help lines that deal with abusive relationships. It is time to pursue healthy relationships and happy valentines people!
Photo courtesy of Torch.

Safe Abortion over Unsafe Abortion

I happened to travel from Kisumu to Nairobi and I had this opportunity to hold a six year old baby girl on my lap and minutes later she fell asleep. Oh and she was very beautiful and she slept peacefully until i had to wake up her up on arrival. The whole time I was thinking… isn’t she pretty? Would I be this happy if I was to become a mother? Would I take care of my baby the way I did to her? With this age of selfies I was tempted to take a selfie with her but since I wouldn’t want a stranger on the next seat taking a picture with my daughter I didn’t. This got me thinking that being a mother must be the best feeling in the world especially that period when you carry the pregnancy and you can feel the baby kicks in your tummy… This made me think about my friends in and out of campus who got kids and all I can say is I appreciate you supper mamas 

This also got me thinking of Abortion. Is abortion moral or immoral? Reading reports on the internet showed an increase in abortion in the world and to be specific, increase in the rate of unsafe abortion. In most African countries, abortion is recognized, but as a crime. I can by now imagine those in agreement with this statement humming or singing the Abortion is a crime song. Well, there are many reasons why one would want to have one. Women who have used contraceptives and still became pregnant consider abortion, unwillingness to become a single mother, if the pregnancy is as a result of rape or child abuse, if the health of the mother is in danger both mentally, physically and even socially, if the child could possibly have any defect among other reasons. Of all the reasons, the social reasons are questioned by almost everyone who views abortion as crime. I was looking at the International Women’s Health Coalition and I got to learn that in the world, twenty two million unsafe abortions take place and the consequences of these unsafe abortions include deaths due to complications and what with the women who are left with permanent injuries? Well these statistics may or may not include those who are unaccounted for and it is a large number, right?
When I talk about unsafe abortion, I mean abortion that is carried out by anyone who lacks the skills or rather untrained individuals and in an environment not in line with the minimal medical standards. In Kenya the rate of unsafe abortions has been on the rise up to a hundreds of thousands every year and thousands hospitalized in hospitals due to complications. This happens despite the fact that most Kenyans are pro-life. What with the use of traditional herbs, high dosages of antimalarial drugs and ingesting dangerous substances such as bleach. On the other hand, safe abortions can be defined as those that meet legal requirements in countries where abortion is legally permitted. In Kenya Abortion is illegal except when a mother’s life is in danger. This is the major reason why women seek unsafe abortion. I think restricting access to safe abortion for whatever reason to any woman is denying her the right to make decisions on her reproductive system. I believe that woman has a right to safe abortion. I do not see why a woman should result to crude and unsafe methods to terminate a pregnancy as mentioned above due to the stigma and shame attached to abortion.

All I am trying to say is that safe and legal abortion saves lives. Hospitals do not have to deal with the burden of handling complications resulting from unsafe abortion, of which most do not have the necessary resources to tackle that. By supporting safe abortion I am by no way misleading, it is almost similar to you who advocates for the use of contraceptives. Taking condoms for example, why do people use them? Prevent pregnancy? Prevent STI’s? Safe abortion also prevents the consequences arising from unsafe abortion such as damage to the uterus, psychological and emotional instability. In as much you are against abortion; do not deny the woman who decides to carry it out her freedom of choice and the chance to have a safe abortion by naming and shaming her or stigmatizing the whole thing because she will definitely go for unsafe abortion anytime knowing or not knowing the consequences. Well, on the morality and immorality of abortion, that is a whole new war between religion and science, but if a woman has to undergo abortion, Say No to Unsafe Abortion over Unsafe Abortion.

BREAK THE SILENCE

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It is that time of the year again when the whole world has come together for a common cause. It is all about activism against gender based violence. I know you have seen the hash tag 16 days of activism against gender based violence campaign that is on-going on social media. This is a campaign that takes place from November 25th to December 10th annually. In between this period, there are several important days such as the world disability day on 3rd December- International Day for the disabled, , 1st December – World Aids Day and on 10th December Human Rights Day. And as we celebrate world Human Rights Day, it is important to note that Gender Based Violence is a violation of Human rights.
What comes into your mind when the word Gender based violence is mentioned? When some of us hear the word gender based violence what comes in mind is sexual harassment. What some of us do not know is that gender based violence takes physical and psychological forms. In Kenya this campaign comes at a critical time when various forms of Gender Based Violence are on the rise. What with the number of the street harassment against our women, Rape, Child abuse, husband and wife battering? Most of these forms of gender based violence go unreported and little or no attention given to them.
This is saddening because gender based violence has far reaching effects on the victims be it physically, mentally, sexually and even on their reproductive health. The victims need care and support. While the My Dress My Choice campaign was on, many on social media wondered what the relevance was to carrying out an online campaign rather than take to the streets for demonstrations. Online campaigns are an important sensitization tool considering the increase in number of internet users in the world but we also need practical measures to help eliminate all forms of GBV.
For the 16 days of activism against gender based violence campaign, it is all about eliminating all forms of gender based violence. Raising awareness about gender based violence, its negative impacts. Sharing the various ways of curbing gender based violence with the intention of getting rid of GBV completely is also another reason we should all participate in this campaign. I am particularly happy that there are leaders in our country who have worked to fight GBV in the country. The Nyeri women Representative is one leader who established a gender based violence desk at the Nyeri police station, Kenya in response to the increased gender based violence crimes in the region from rape to sodomy against young boys. This is an important step that will help in pursuing justice for the victims of GBV. It is important that all victims receive justice.
We need to speak up against all forms of GBV and we shall not neglect the victims. Let us address the root causes of GBV through sensitizing the society. Gender Based Violence CAN and SHOULD be prevented!

GBV -Gender Based Violence

LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER #modestyisthebetterchoice

Philip Mwaura

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Dear Little One,

Just the other day you joined us in this land of mortals. Frail, fragile and delicate your tiny hands were. No glossy lips, no gaiety hips yet you were the most renowned beauty-pure in mind and precious in thought. Nothing has changed, your smile for ages will be as refined as it were  seconds after your first breath, you are a glorious and inspiring sight. Honored and uplifted will be those around you.

In that eternal assurance of your beauty, we are glad that one day you’ll leave our doorstep and you will live in a world most depraved. I hope and pray that you will not sing to “their” song and dance to “their” rhythm. There will be many who will argue about the length of the slit, the depth of the neck line, tightness and fissures. Little one, I would care less how you would…

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