International Women’s Day in Mgongo

9th March 2014

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Yesterday Charlie 3 held an event in Mgongo to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Around the world, women are often oppressed, discriminated against and the victims of violence - International Women’s Day was set up in an effort to combat this; to empower women, to increase female education and to reduce the challenges that many women face daily across the globe.  Women make up half of the world’s population and deserve equal rights.  Equality for women is progress for all.  International Women’s Day is about celebrating women from around the world, here in Mgongo, Charlie 3 did just that. 

We held an event with talks, dancing, singing and acting which attracted approximately 300 members of the community.  We all believe that knowledge is power; by educating others we place that power in their hands.  When they pass that knowledge on, a whole community can become empowered.  Our action research and meetings with our local women’s group showed us that women here are often solely responsible for collecting water, household chores and childcare within their families.  By empowering these women, they can further empower whole households and hopefully their whole community.

Our hope is that through our event Mgongo learnt many things from us about gender equality and water and sanitation, we have certainly learnt so much from them.

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Our event included presentations on childcare, preventing diarrhoea and the importance of boiling water and washing hands.  We also had a drama, a song and plenty of dancing intervals which both the locals and volunteers particularly enjoyed.

The women’s group delivered an inspirational speech and performed some traditional dancing, which they encouraged us to join in with, much to the amusement of our ever growing audience!  The Village Executive Officer, Patrick, also gave a speech reflecting on our event, saying “Let’s take everything we have heard today and put it in to action.” He also encouraged the community to “educate our young girls” and stop them marrying so young.  He spoke of his hopes that by educating young girls in Mgongo, they could one day come to the UK to teach us many things. 

The leader of the women’s group, Ludia, spoke about health, employment and water, and the importance of empowering women “…if we educate our women, the nation will grow.”

village view

Charlie 3 had an inspiring and extremely enjoyable International Women’s Day.  We all see, now more than ever, how important gender equality is and how empowering women in Mgongo will improve lives for everyone in the community.  By passing our knowledge on to the population of Mgongo as part of our International Women’s Day event, we hope we made people more aware of women’s issues and highlighted the importance and essential role women can play in development.  As Ludia said “Women, we can!”.

This day has made us even more motivated to keep inspiring change here in Mgongo and we are so grateful for all we have learnt from this beautiful village and its wonderful people.