ActionAid Ireland is an international aid organisation fighting for women’s rights, social justice and an end to poverty. Here, RTE Nationwide Presenter Zainab Boladale answers questions for our blog series Why Women’s Rights.
Zainab, why do women’s rights matter to you?
For me, women’s rights come down to having the option of ‘choice’ and being able to voice what we as women want without fear. It’s about living in a society and a legal system that gives us support and flexibility in what we choose for ourselves. It matters to me because far too many women have been denied the option of choice based on their gender and I would love to see that change globally.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement isn’t centered around one specific event or moment. It’s the realisation of my own resilience and how far I’ve come. When I pictured my timeline as a teen, I don’t think I imagined that I would have achieved some of the things I have and I don’t just mean career wise, I mean on a personal level. I’ve always wanted to be the type of woman who was confident in herself and her ability, it took hearing others describe me that way to make me realise that I’m already that woman.
If you could change one thing for women what would it be?
On a global level, I wish education in all its forms wasn’t withheld from women. I think that knowledge is one of the greatest tools we have in ensuring that we are not left out of the bigger picture and I wish more women from all backgrounds had access to it. On a community level, I think it can lessen the gender inequalities and biases we are often faced with. I think about some of the great female leaders and how they have managed to create a voice for women in their field and ensured that concerns that are specific to women which sometimes get sidelined are addressed. Education equals true freedom and I hope we’re heading towards a direction where all women aren’t denied this.
What is your hope for a post-covid world?
I hope Covid has highlighted the need for facilities in which women, especially mothers can be supported in their careers. If I’ve had low days during this pandemic, I can’t imagine what it’s been like for mothers around the world who are trying to juggle a job and a family.
I also hope this pandemic has shown us that the ‘learn from home’ route could be a potential for children who may not be able to access school physically. We’ve found amazing creative ways to learn, work and socialise, I hope this flexibility can be applied in a way that gives women choice around how they want to balance the many aspects of their lives, no matter what stage of it they are in.
Thanks to Zainab (pictured) for contributing.
Interested in supporting ActionAid’s work promoting women’s rights? You can sign-up to make a regular donation or give a one off gift here.
You can also learn about ActionAid’s women’s rights programme, funded by Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs, here.