Madame Bwa and Algate - Champions for Change
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BeBoldForChange. The World Economic Forum has predicted that the gender gap (which represents gender inequity in areas like health, wages, political representation, and access to and quality of education) won’t fully close until 2186 – 169 years from now.
Can we leverage International Women’s Day as a catalyst to foment bold change and reject this stark forecast?
At SOIL, women’s voices are at the forefront of our work. Four of SOIL’s seven organizational directors are women, including our executive director and co-founder Sasha, and three of the five SOIL advisors are women. Throughout the operational team, women like Mme Bwa, Algate, and Fabienne take the lead in the field as professional and talented marketers, savvy businesswomen, and tireless sanitation ambassadors on top of being working mothers, grandmothers, midwives, nurses, teachers, gardeners, and so much more.
The women at SOIL are passionate about increasing access to holistic sanitation because we know how much access to sanitation improves other women’s lives. With a private household toilet, women and girls are safer, especially at night.
If women don’t have to venture outside of the home to relieve themselves, their chance of being shamed, harassed, or even attacked decreases. When girls have hygienic bathrooms, they are more likely to go to school while menstruating. And when women don’t have to spend time finding a place for them and their children to go, they have more time overall, and their family is healthier and happier as a result.
In 2017, we pledge to #BeBoldForChange by continuing to talk past the sanitation taboo and fighting for every woman to have access to a safe and dignified toilet.