Today, we celebrate.
By Ayla Schlosser, Co-founder & CEO, Resonate
Anyone who knew me can attest to the fact that I was a pretty energetic little girl – or, as my mother was fond of saying, I had chutzpah. I climbed trees, I raised my hand in class, and I’d try anything my older brother would, just to prove that I could. My parents told me (and truly believed) that I could do anything I wanted. I think I can, too – but it requires extra work and energy to break down barriers that exist for women.
Through my own experience, and the hundreds of stories I have heard through my work with Resonate, I know that these barriers can take very different forms – it can mean having to stay home while your brothers go to school, or being told by your bank that you can’t take a loan without a husband to co-sign, or fighting to make your own choices about your body, or shouldering the burden of being the first female representative on your village council, or being told you are arrogant when you finally muster the strength to let your hard-fought confidence shine through.
At Resonate, we work every day to equip women and girls in East Africa with the self-confidence and leadership skills they need to break down those barriers, to live the lives they want for themselves. We envision a world where women are leaders in creating communities where all people are respected and valued.
And so I’ve been wondering – as someone who spends every day thinking about and fighting for gender equality, how is today different?
And then I realized – today is a day to celebrate.
For the rest of the year at Resonate we ponder the barriers to equality and strategize about how we can dismantle them with cunning, creativity, compassion, and sheer force of will. But today, with the whole world listening, we want to celebrate the 1,000+ women we’ve worked with, and all of the amazing successes they’ve had.
Celebrate Betty Linda, who wants to be Uganda’s first female president.
Celebrate Caritas, who was elected to her village council.
Celebrate Aurore, who started her own business.
An equal world is a better world. Can you help us support women leading change?
Happy International Women’s Day!