Earth Day & International Women’s – Who’s Post Is The Best?

Earth Day & International Women’s – Who’s Post Is The Best?

Earth Day & International Women’s – Who’s Post Is The Best?

1920 1440 Oliver Kagwe

Today, I came across a social media post reminding us that April 22nd is Earth Day. By all intents and purposes, a good day. One where both the people fighting the problem and the problem itself unite in acknowledging that truly, we must solve the problem for it is causing many other problems that are causing even more problems, and now we are in a big problem that we must resolve before it becomes an even bigger problem.

As confusing as it may come across, it is actually very confusing. On Earth Day, people who actually fight global warming, those who cause it, those who don’t care and those who don’t know what to do will all put out posts on social media using words like conservation, carbon credits and other words coined to confuse all of us.

I meant to write about Earth Day, but as I pour my thoughts I have felt an overwhelming urge to address International Women’s Day. Every 8th of March, we all must think about women, because it International Women’s Day. It is a day to remind us all to recognise women and appreciate their contributions in various fields of life. Others use it as a day to reflect on how far the world has come in regards to women’s inclusion, while others use it to remind themselves of the work that lies ahead. By all means, this is an important day.

But I see a problem. The history and depth of Clara Zetkin’s vision – what she suffered for – has over the years been watered down to putting out a few posts on social media saying “we are committed to gender equity”, “the empowerment of women”, “the inclusion of women” and other related concepts. We are marking it by giving women flowers and cupcakes instead of better opportunities and pay. What was once a revolutionary movement is now a normalisation of hypocrisy and doublespeak.

The same fungus overgrowing in the climate action and environmental conservation space has pervaded all other spaces. Nowadays, everyone is “committed to reducing their carbon footprints”, “combating climate change” and “conserving the environment.” Even timber dealers who are destroying indigenous forests thereby affecting climate patterns, governments that are testing their bombs by exploding oceans in the process ruining entire marine ecosystems, plastic manufacturers like Nestle and PepsiCo, among others. We are talking about such an elite level of clownery that in 2022, COP27 (a serious annual event about countering climate change) was sponsored by the CocaCola Company (a serious plastic manufacture)!

In a very difficult environment that did not believe in gender equality, Clara Zetkin fought for women’s rights and women’s suffrage (women’s right to vote in elections). She did not want women to go out there fighting and chanting “what a man can do a woman can do better” as I have seen with some versions of feminist movements. She wanted women to receive equal opportunities – to have them sit at the table instead of serving the table, to have their voices heard and their needs addressed. Broadly, she desired a society in which nobody suffered unnecessarily. 

I imagine the dismay on Clara’s face as she rocks in her favourite rocking chair in the living room, by the fire, sipping on hot tea, scrolling on her smartphone as she slowly shakes her head at site of the unnecessary suffering that women are now being subjected to appearing in videos they don’t want to, to say things they don’t mean because the communications department proposed and someone else said it would be good for the brand.

In my view, the question should not be “What shall we do for International Women’s Day this year?”, rather, “How can we make this organisation conducive for everyone, especially women?” I say ‘especially women’ because if we are true, women and men are not all on the same starting point. Everyday is women’s day, not just March 8th.

In the same way, everyday is Earth Day. Everyday is a day to plant a tree and water it, to not litter, to recycle and use recyclable things if you can, to read about how you contribute to global warming, to spread information about conservation and so on.

We Are Planting A 100-Acre Forest.

Personally, I am part of Al Kag’s 100-acre project, where we are planting a 100-acre forest in an area about an hour away North of Malindi. I am part of a growing team consisting of Angel Kyalo (Founder of The Green Halo Initiative), Elphic Tossi (Founder of One Million Trees for Kilifi) and community members neighbouring the forest. So far, we have planted over 870 trees in 2 acres, with more than 800 of them successfully growing. In addition, we have given away about 200 tree seedlings to the local community as part of our efforts to spark more self-initiated tree growing in the area. Once again, EVERY DAY IS A DAY TO DO GOOD.