Rona Foundation Blogs

Jack Mawere – Male Champion for Rona Foundation

As we mark International Women’s Day 2023: themed “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, we – widow organisations must get the world talking – on going beyond protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence to addressing the ravaging climate change crisis in Kenya.

Recent media reports reflects Kenyan’s collective stomach is rumbling from the pangs of life-threatening hunger. In the past, families have succumbed to starvation.
And since, IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere taking valid actions – we must chose to take contextual actions. So, as we celebrate women’s achievement on this IWD 2023. There is urgent need to raise awareness about the impact of climate change using the digital tools and spaces, and how it’s affecting widow headed households.

Largely the well-known, digital inequalities – access, cost and use affects rural widows more – and being the primary caretakers of their household, responsible for providing for their families. Co-relating the dual dilemma with the effects of climate change, such as crop failures, water shortages, and extreme weather events is crucial on such global action days.

Further, by integrating rural widows into digital innovation and climate change discourse, we can empower them to become change agents in the digital space – advancing gender equality. This can be done by providing them with access to information and resources, such as training on digital usage and marketing, climate-smart agriculture, water management, and disaster preparedness.

Since the immediate needs are food security and nutrition for many widow headed households across Kenya’s 47 counties, it is our duty of care – to continue to raise awareness and mobilize others to coherently correlate the duality of innovation and technology alongside taking action on gender parity and climate change.

Roseline OrwaRoseline Orwa is the Founder & Director of Rona Foundation, a grassroots organisation in Kenya that works to advance and protect widows’ rights, as well as provide support to orphans and vulnerable children.
She is a lifelong Fellow of the Atlantic Social Economic and Equity Program at the London School of Economics for social and economic equity. An Aspen New Voices Fellow 2021, and a Storyteller with The Moth Africa. She tweets @Roseline Orwa.

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