This International Women’s Day, we’re diving into the theme “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” but Kenya’s reality isn’t as straightforward. Let’s uncover the struggles women face, beyond just financial empowerment.

Meet Joanna and Nini, two hardworking women dealing with unexpected financial blows. Joanna found herself in a legal battle over her home  after her marriage ended, while Nini faced auctioneers reclaiming possessions for a loan she didn’t know existed. These stories show how even financially independent women can face unexpected challenges.

But there’s more to women’s well-being than just money. Social and mental health are equally important. Wahu Kagwe, a well-known Kenyan musician and influencer, shared how she unwinds in her car before going home—secretly eating out a chocolote for solace , a sentiment echoed by many women seeking moments of peace amid life’s chaos, with many sitting in the toilet for hours or simply locking that bedroom door to just simply breathe in.

Identity and womanhood are tightly intertwined. When women marry, get partners, or become mothers, their individuality can fade away. It’s no wonder they seek solace in quiet moments, like sitting alone in their cars or sneaking a moment in the bathroom.

But does this need for self-identity extend to finances? Often, women earn less, and their savings dwindle due to family responsibilities. Urban working-class women might seem independent, but stories like Joanna’s and Nini’s reveal their vulnerability to financial shocks.

So, what can women do for their mental, societal, and financial well-being?

Breaking free from societal constraints is crucial. Kenyan society can be patriarchal, limiting women’s roles and autonomy. While economic opportunities like the Women’s Enterprise Fund offer hope, they’re not enough on their own.

Owning our narratives means claiming property rights and asserting our identities. Recent efforts to empower women to own property are a step forward, but we must go beyond finances.

Finding our voices and defining success on our terms is essential.

Speaking openly and honestly with our partners will lead to growth and development in a home, and as it is said, open communication develops all aspects of the family.

We can draw inspiration from history’s strong women who carved their own paths, embracing personal space and time.

Starting small can lead to big achievements. Despite challenges, many women have built fulfilling lives, finding contentment without settling for complacency.

Looking ahead, addressing economic empowerment and social identity issues is key to unlocking the potential of Kenyan women. The fight for recognition and space continues, but every day is an opportunity to celebrate womanhood.

Happy International Women’s Day to all women.

Every day is a woman’s day….

Keep smiling, keep moving

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