In the world today, there are tons of charities and groups preaching about inequality and women empowerment, but these issues persist and this is what Almas Jiwani aims to challenge and change.
“Gender equality needs to become more than a mantra.” Almas Jiwani,
Almas Jiwani is the CEO of Almas Jiwani foundation and the President Emeritus of the UN Women Canada. She vocalizes the essence of women’s social, economic and political empowerment both nationally and internationally.
The will to fight for women developed in Almas Jiwani because of her experience from the time she was in her early teens. She and her family moved from Congo to Canada and her family faced lots of challenges. Jiwani noticed many communities were indifferent toward women and they could not grow socially and intellectually. Then she realized she could help these women. From there, she started volunteering with initiatives that lent their voice to women’s promotion and empowerment. She met someone who told her of her hidden talent and connected her to a multimedia business while advising her that even if she knocked on ten doors and gets no reply, she should not despair and she should knock on the eleventh one, this makes up most of her speech today when she advises women to persevere and not give up. Being a member of the Aga Khan Council was the opportunity she used to become recognized. From then she became elected to be a member of UNIFEM Canada and she later took on leadership. Jiwani gave her time to the improvement of the UN Women Canada and she reorganized the National Committee in Canada, all to improve women’s rights around the world.
Women’s Empowerment and Sustainable goals
“We focus on women and girls because evidence accrued over decades of international development work have proven that the status and role of women is the best clue to a nation’s growth potential, and is a key factor in determining a society’s standard of living.” Almas Jiwani
According to Almas Jiwani, women represent almost half of the contribution to the world economy and this is more reason women should be empowered so that the earth will be sustained. She also made an analysis that the fact that women who are less than half of the workforce can produce more than half of all the food in the world is enough reason for women’s empowerment to be seriously considered. With innovation and new solutions for new problems, Jiwani is confident that world problems can be solved. According to her analysis, if women are as empowered as men, the food in the world and other resources will gain a high rate of increase.
In the bid to make sure the world is privy to the plight and needs of women she has spoken across 42 countries.
Gender Equality and Almas Jiwani
Gender Equality is one thing that Ms Jiwani loves to focus on. To her, it is saddening that women lack access to many things that can guarantee them success, better finances, access to technology, education and self-confidence. She is worried about the fact that in some countries, only men are allowed to take loans and do business and that though there are some countries that still allow women have their way, all countries still have that gap that shows that men still have an edge over women. Jiwani holds a strong opinion that women should be allowed access to energy as this will give them the ability to use communication systems, technology and the internet as which can help them gain a lot economically. She is fighting for women to be free from the problem of war, famine, poor sexual and reproductive health care, violence and environmental disturbances and for women to have access to business while they take part in family life. In an interview with Melangie International, she effected that companies who have women on their board perform better because when they have both men and women on board, they get to experience different strengths and the intensity of various passions coming together to make their company better.
How will her goals be achieved?
Almas Jiwani has her dream of the future of women where she sees women free from inequality and allowed to thrive in the business and financial world. Jiwani aims to get experts with various skills and from various places to teach women and she also aims to encourage networking amongst women so that they can work together and become successful together.
We should not stop knocking on doors, even when things seem like they will never change. The creation of awareness should continue. Let us keep knocking and speaking out because one day, one of those doors will let us in; the magnificent eleventh door.
Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).