What an interesting March we have all had! March has been a month synonymously associated with women. It is a celebratory month for women in our "herstory" both past and present, paying special attention to the women who've positively helped shape and change the narrative of what a woman can achieve and do, and as a result, we have seen shift in policies both within our society, our governments and even our workspaces. Although in the midst of all this joy, we also witness another brutal side of women history where we see stories of rape, murder and men victim shaming, and somewhat disregarding the acts of GBV, and many more reported and unreported cases. This is but a reminder that although as women we have made progress in many areas we still fall victim to scenarios, that often leave us scarred for life.
We as SisterSpeaks, therefore, wanting to uplift, motivate, empower and inspire our sisters we saw it fit to end the month of March with a webinar featuring incredible guests who despite the challenges women face, they are still achieving in their areas of interest. The purpose of it all was to inform and educate women on how they to can break the glass and shape history.
Here is an introduction to the phenomenal guest speakers that spoke on our inaugural webinar:
ADELLE ONYANGO: BREAKING THE GLASS FOR WOMEN's VOICES AGAINST GBV
Adelle is a Kenyan media personality who has gained international recognition for her efforts to empower African women and youth. She has been celebrated as one of Facebook's 2019 Icons of Change, recognized as 100 Most Influential Young Africans for 2019, OkayAfrica 100 extraordinary African women for 2018 and BBC's 100 inspirational and innovative women in the world for 2017.
Adelle has over 10 years of experience in the radio industry and she now runs her own podcast "Legally Clueless"crowned the most popular Kenyan podcast in 2019 OnePulse
research. She also runs the Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI) which aims to bridge the skills and service gap among youth and women on their pathway to empowerment.
Adelle is a rape survivor and she openly uses her platform to bring to light the challenges women face around GBV cases, leading other women to also share their story. She has co-written the book "Our Broken Silence" with Lanji Ouko. The book documents the voices of survivors of rape, observers, family members, activists, nurses, lawyers, and many others, who offer a glimpse into the different perceptions of violence.
SHOMY HASAN: BREAKING THE GLASS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Shomy believes in the power of youth and looks forward to mobilizing the future leaders in achieving the SDGs thereby shaping this world into a better place. She is a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activist from Bangladesh, with a vision to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for everyone. Shomy is the Co-Founder of the youth organization Awareness 360, a State Alumna, a YES Alumna, an International Exchange Alumna, 2017 Youth Advocate of Global Citizen, a Global Changemakers Fellow, and a Global Youth Ambassador of former British First Lady Sarah Brown’s “Their world.” She has also been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold) from President Barack Obama for her outstanding contribution to community service.
Shomy became the first Bangladeshi to be appointed as the Asia Representative of the Commonwealth Students’ Association that represents students’ voice across the 53 Commonwealth countries.
Shomy's journey and passion for ensuring everyone has access to clean water and sanitation, was, because of the loss of her mother who died of diarrhoea. She breaks the glass for young people empowering them to believe that they too can achieve what they put their mind too even if it was born out of pain.
FIONA NGARURO: BREAKING THE GLASS FOR WOMEN IN TECH
Fiona is an e-commerce & growth marketing consultant with combined 12+ years of experience working across industries such as e-commerce, automobile, enterprise software, finance, healthcare, and government in Australia and across Africa.
Fiona is passionate about paying it forward through public speaking and mentorship using her lived experiences to inspire young female professionals on topics such as women in tech, work ethics, career change to name a few. She’s one of the founding mentors of The Zakike Leadership Program which has mentored 80 young female graduates and professionals thus far. She has also spoken at the African Women in Tech Conference, Hernovation by CIO East Africa and most recently spoke at Commonwealth Business Women Network Kenya on matters Women in E-Commerce.
She’s a mentor, and leader of multidisciplinary teams including digital channels, web optimization and design teams. She educates her mentees on how to navigate one's career through what is still very much a man's world.
WENDY ODUOR: BREAKING THE GLASS FOR MENTAL HEALTH SILENCE
Wendy is the current Miss Kenya USA (2019-2021). As a fashionista, host, speaker and graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City, Wendy believes that it is time to rise and champion the cause and solutions for mental health awareness.
After tragically losing her brother to suicide in 2014, Wendy, eventually understood that pain can birth purpose when allowed and therefore begun sharing about her experience as a guest speaker at social events and utilizing social media to create awareness and a safe space where people break their silence and are encouraged to seek professional help. Her mission remains, which is to break the culture of silencing mental health while promoting awareness across the diaspora and Kenya through education and action.
If you missed the Webinar and would love to watch these phenomenal women speak and share their story, you can do so now by watching it on our Youtube Channel through the link below:
We encourage you all to continuously use your voice, for the change we seek, will be the change we see because we dared to speak!