As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the discourse is no longer centered around women’s traditional roles as home makers. Instead, the focus through the theme is on Embracing Gender Equity and acknowledging the outstanding contributions of women in all spheres of life. This day is about recognizing the achievements of women and advocating for their right.
The Focus on Embracing Gender Equity on International Women’s Day
In its tradition, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) through their volunteerism program recently joined the global society in celebrating the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD). KRA marked the event through various activities including participation in social engagements through the program aiming to support and unify gender parity across the globe. The program which consist of 300 volunteers participates in community social engagements steered towards facilitating staff passion outside tax administration duties and appreciation of community engagements.
Staff Volunteers Engage Male Youths in Ngong Town for Mentorship Program at Lifesong Kenya
In the spirit of embracing equity, KRA staff volunteers organized a mentorship program with two institutions; Garden of Hope School and Kenswed Vocational Training where they engaged male youths aged between 11-24 years Ngong Town. The aim of the institutions is to provide an opportunity for the less privileged children and youth with skills that will enable them secure jobs and grow their entrepreneurship skills.
During the program, KRA volunteers counselled the youths on life skills, career development, self-employment options and provided them with tips for marketing start-ups. The volunteer counselors also shared relatable life experiences during the one-on-one counselling sessions with the youths. They also offered other aftercare support services to prepare and encourage them for future life.
During the session, participants had a safe space to express their emotions and develop emotional intelligence. The youths noted that most often the society views the boy child as a strong gender and they are taught to suppress their emotions and exhibit traditional “masculine” traits even when emotionally challenged. This they said, has led to anxiety, depression, and a lack of emotional intelligence amongst the male youths.
Speaking during the session, Lifesong Kenya Founder, said that the facility provides a three months’ transitional house for male youths aged between 10-25 years, who are in need of safe space and aftercare support for their healing and restoration back to the community. He also stated that they reconcile first-time offenders with their families, the police and the complainant.
The founder also insighted that Lifesong Kenya empowers the boys and young men in school and the community by instilling skills such as farming, poultry keeping and livestock rearing. This he said has helped avert them from engaging in social vices and crime.
During the event, KRA staff cooked and shared a meal with them, cleaned up and engaged in farming activities as they mingled with the youths. KRA also provided food donations and offered project support by handing over four dairy goats which were part of a sustainability project to empower the male youth economically.
The male youth lauded KRA for engaging the community besides being perceived as enforcers. They said that this program has enabled them learn and visualize the positive image of KRA as a tax agency.
KRA took advantage of the International Women’s Day to celebrate young men to embrace the gender equity. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. Equity also helps us to forge harmony and unity, and drive success for all. Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality. Knowing that gender bias exists is not enough, action is therefore needed to level the playing field for both gender.
International Women’s Day is marked annually to inspire, support and unify gender parity activities globally. The celebrations also challenge gender biasness, support women's advancement and celebrates their achievements.
by Junne Ndanu
Marketing & Communication.