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Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for all: My reflection on the International Women's Day global Theme

International Women's Day was celebrated with pomp by all women across the world. Voices echoed the same theme all over the world of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for all. I was part of the celebration hosted by CARE International in Kenya and its partners in Kibera (One of Africa’s biggest slum found in Nairobi -Kenya). An area that was serious affected by the post-election violence that rocked the country in 2007/08 where many women faced both sexual and physical abuse.

The biggest question that still lingers on many of these women's minds is if they will ever receive justice. These mothers, sisters, daughters and grandmother, all wonder if their abusers will ever face the law. For 68 years old, Esther, chances of receiving any justice look slimmer and slimmer everyday as the government seems to have forgotten their plight."I have forgiven those who did this to me because I need to move on with my life. However to stop this from ever happening again, these people must be face the law, justice must be done!" says Esther.

In many parts of the world, women continue to face some of the worst forms of sexual-based gender violence including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Early Forced Marriages, Rapes and other forms of Sexual Abuse such as Incest, Physical Domestic Violence (Wife Battering) and Forced prostitution through Human Trafficking of women among other violations.

We all have a role to play. Let us raise our voices against these injustices against women. We must speak out and also be the voice of those with no platform to raise their voices and if possible help create for them a platform. We must be heard.

Let us continue to advocate for the elimination of any form of abuse, discrimination and violation of women’s rights. Let us keep up the fight to ensure that the women in a village in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nairobi, Kisumu, Soweto is free from any form of violence. Let us work towards equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for all.

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