Interpretation: Sister here means women who are not related to you by blood.
“I may be the First Woman in this Office, I won’t be the last” Kamala Harris, Vice President-Elect of the United States of America
The words above by Kamala Harris reflect that of sisterhood and solidarity. She has vowed to open the doors and leave it open for women to come in. According to the United Nation, as of 8 November, women are Heads of State and Governments in only 20 countries worldwide there is a need for more women in leadership and politics who will advance policies for the advancement of women.
In Nigeria, we have six (6) women in the Senate and 11 women at the House of Representatives a total of 18 women represented at the National Assembly. Nigeria needs a female President, Governors, and more women in the National Assembly (Parliament).
Women’s rights are human rights and daily several women’s and girls’ rights are violated. We need to come together to protect women’s and girls’ rights.
There is a common narrative of women pulling women down; women not wanting to assist or support other women especially when in a leadership position, women are often accused of shutting the door for other women to come in and succeed. They remove the ladder on arriving at the top.
This may happen sometime but I can attest to the fact and so can you that more women lift other women daily but we don’t get to hear these stories as much as when a woman pulls the other down. Well, sad news they say spreads and travels fast.
If we search our lives and examine our relationships with women, you can always remember a situation when a sister was there for you. You may have been in a situation where you enter a bus or when to the store to get some supplies or groceries and you run out of money and a sister offers to assist you. Maybe it was a time when your period started unexpectedly and a sister offered you pads or a time you were going for an interview and a sister offered to babysit your kids while you went for your interview. It may have also been a time you had an example and a sister coached you before the exam and the list goes on and on.
I have a lot of stories of women who have helped me through my career and personal journey. I got to know about the job opening for my present job through my friend and sister, Blessing Yahaya, I applied and I got the job, thanks to her. I was encouraged to start blogging by Racheal Eyo.
During the Magret Ekpo Youth Fellowship Retreat organized by YouthHub Africa and Ford Foundation, we were asked to read “Where is your wrapper” by Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti State. I recommend you read it
As I read the article one word that resonated with me was ‘Solidarity’ and I keep thinking about how we can change this narrative and push for the solidarity of sisterhood, where women stand for women?
As women, we should always look out for other women.
We need to stand with each other.
We all have a role to play lets foster solidarity.
We must stand together in solidarity with our sisters to amplify our voices because we are a force when we act together.
We are powerful and unstoppable together.
We need more solidarity among women to share experiences, knowledge, fears, and support to learn from each other.
We as women need to come together in solidarity for one another, we don’t need to be related by blood, race, tribe, or ethnic group. All that should resonate with you is that she is a woman and your sister and you need to stand by her.
Women have to have women’s backs and in the words of Her Excellency, Bisi Adeleye Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti State, share your wrapper.
Where have you been hiding your solidarity for your sister?
I know that we must have been bringing out our wrappers in solidarity for our sisters but we need to amplify this narrative and kill the narrative of women not helping women.
Here are a few ways you can amplify the voices and solidarity of women;
1| Always offer a helping hand for your sister.
2. Speak up and defend women’s rights because women’s rights are human rights.
3| Serve as a mentor to young women and girls around you equipping them with leadership and life skills.
4| Support women in politics and other sectors.
5| Support women-led organisations and patronize women in business.
6| Volunteer for organisations empowering and promoting women’s and girls’ rights.
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comment section, share your experience of sisters’ solidarity.
Igube Veronica Pana