“Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” is the theme for this years International Women’s Day. It is a global annual celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women; which also provides an opportunity to make a clarion call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Since March 1911 when the day was commemorated for the first time in Copenhagen, millions of people around the world regardless of their country, group or organisation have come together to champion the cause and rally support by providing a meaningful framework to connect and amplify action.
In explaining the yearlong campaign theme for the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration, the United Nations states that it “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.”
There are several women in the diaspora pushing the agenda to help forge a gender equal world through their professions, initiatives and even lifestyles. They continue to inspire their families and society with their words and actions.
Diaspora Digital News is delighted to bring you a compilation of quotes by phenomenal diaspora women who by their achievements, success and self-led initiatives are raising awareness against gender bias.
Focus on Education
“There are great examples of this century where men and women strive to be each other’s biggest fans; to support each other to be the best they can be and to achieve the most they can, to follow their dreams and explore their talents, without ever undermining one over the other. Educating children in such an environment, should be (and is my) main priority – because with that daily example from their parents, instilling values of equality in the future generations is as genuine and effective as it gets.”
–Emira Ajeti – Public-Private Dialogue Advisor, Business Development Consultant
“On this International Women’s Month, I will encourage everyone to reflect on these words of Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey of Ghana “if you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation.” It is time to match our words with actions and support women-owned businesses and initiatives to bridge the socio-economic gap between men and women. “
–Joyce Williams Esq. – Managing Attorney, Armooh-Williams PLLC, Hazina Partners & iSoka
Staying Confident and Resilient
“Woman you are made of something quite special! It’s ok to feel tired, it’s ok to feel overwhelmed, it’s ok to feel like you want to hit the pause button; but in spite of those feelings you will keep going. Not only will you keep going you will excel at all you do because YOU ARE A WOMAN.”
–Belinda Boadu – Serial Entrepreneur, Founder of Impart & Impact, Atana Women
“Whatever our titles: Ms., MRS or CEO; we have always played our part to advance society and human well-being. We won’t stop now. Not today, not tomorrow.”
–Mayowa – Broadcast Journalist & Event Host
“As a woman, there are times when you need to cut the chase and say what needs to be said. Along your journey, don’t forget to claim the moment to get to know yourself.”
–Reykha Mega Pratiwi – Government Relations Expert & Strategic Officer at Indonesia Diaspora Connect
“When you understand that your purpose in life is connected to so many lives and your success will unlock doors of opportunities for many people now and the future, then you will understand who I am.”
Adwoa Agyemang – Founder, Ghanaian Londoners & Shop Share Gh
Empowering women of all descent
“When an African woman embraces the power in her identity, she will come out of hiding and liberate others with her story. In the heart of an empowered African woman, there is no place for shame to hide.”
–Monique Russell – Founder of Clear Communication Solutions, Author & Executive Coach
“As women in entrepreneurship we tend to venture into male-driven spaces; and so it is important to have a community or support system of some kind because the journey can be tough and isolating. This is why we need to love ourselves and internalize our blackness with strength and courage.”
–Kwamara Thompson – Founder of TEC LLC & Black Women Matter
“Our success as women of color will be measured by the wisdom we have gained and the path we leave for the next generation of leaders to leverage and follow.”
–Sonia M. Wignall – Founder of Diaspora Global Corporation
We’ll keep celebrating women!
“As we celebrate the women who inspire us daily and all champions of inclusivity, I have faith that together we can overcome the derailment of development caused by the pandemic and continue progressing towards a gender-equal world.”
–Nadine Loza, Founding Director of the Egypt Diaspora Initiative
“On this International Women’s Day 2021, I wanted to honor the great women of the past and the great women of the present and future! There are so many astounding footprints for us to follow from our sisters of the past, but women of today, you are making footprints in time right now, right where you are! Never discount the value you bring to the world and how much you matter! Girls and teenagers, I do not forget you, either! It’s your time to shine, too! You are a generation of women to come that will shake the nations! Women of 2021 join forces today, through the miles, through the ages, and together we will leave this world a better place because women were in it! I can’t wait to see all the great things you are going to be and do!”
–Liz Franklin (MamaLiz) – Author, Speaker, Special Initiatives on Children
Here are some female focused diaspora organisations who through their initiatives are helping to drive the gender empowerment agenda:
A network of Colombian diaspora women working on collective memory; and healing women in the reconciliation and peace process.
An organisation working with Colombian refugees and exiled women in Spain.
A multi-faceted, comprehensive program that aims to strengthen Armenian women in various stages of their life and give them the opportunity to realize their dreams.
A Somali diaspora based organisation that enables women to organise themselves, increase their independency, eradicate the harmful tradition of female genital mutilation, as well as improve health care for mothers and children.
A non-profit group of Indian women living in Finland who help connect and adapt members to the Finnish way of life whilst connecting them to their motherland.
An organisation that assists integration of Pakistani women and families in the UK, as well as providing women of Pakistani origin with a platform and knowledge of their rights and status in the UK.
An organisation driven by a single goal; to empower women to be agents of change.
Information about these organisations was provided to us by The European Union Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF). Special mention to two phenomenal women: Senior Project Manager, Dr Aurélie Sgro and Communications Officer, Charlotte Griffiths who continue to support Diaspora Digital News’ quest to promote diaspora engagement and expertise.
By: Theresa R. Fianko
Image Attributions and Special Contributors:
Reykha Mega Pratiwi
Sonia M. Wignall