Happy Belated International Women’s day by FeLady Miheso
This women’s day reminded me of this incidence and being the me I have always been, am forced to make a reflection, together with you my pals.
I once worked for a private sector company for FMCG, for a fairly long time, and did not rise to more than three ranks until I quit. I was at an actively reproductive age by then and had set my long term goals so well, including the number of children I’d wished to have by a certain age.
The policy of promotion were quarterly based on set and achieved targets, which were well outlined in an elaborate marking scheme. I got employed alongside other males, when I was 5 months pregnant. I went for maternity leave even before my 6 months probation period was over. After 90 days, I reported back to work and had to pick up my probation period from where I had ‘paused’. My male counterparts had since finished their probation and were working for their first trajectory progress, when I was still struggling to clear my probation period amidst nursing the CS wound and being a first time parent! I badly needed the job of course or else why did I struggle with boos for four years at the university!
I scored a 61 mark at the end of my probation which meant a repeat of the same for 3 months! For one year, I worked under probation, when my male counterparts had been promoted. Now, came a promotion incentive for those who developed themselves professionally. I enrolled for CPA evening classes. I had to do acts of balancing my many roles; parenthood, career and classes. I’d miss classes here and there, when it was easy for my male counterparts. They got promoted when they attained CPA part II while I was still at CPA 2of part I! They now become my bosses.
Still holding to my family goals and values, alas, I was pregnant again, in the middle of my 2nd year at the company! By the time I reported back from maternity leave in March, I realised major departmental changes due to promotions. In addition, there were new faces in my department who were halfway thru with their probation period! Hapa kitaeleweka. It was appraisal month, I was appraised with parameters for periods which I was away on maternity leave. Your guess is as good as mine. NO PROMOTION.
I still badly needed the job, so quitting was none of my options. I had to persevere, even if it meant being stagnant for as long as I don’t know when. I begun working to earn for livelihood and not growth; neither mine nor the company’s. My family goals were distorted and it means nothing now. I needed to grow and develop myself. I had to stop the reproduction and procreation business. I begun working on myself. I had to define and occupy my space. I had to be the best me.
On this day, International Women’s Day, let’s appreciate that reproduction is a natural process that should be celebrated by both men and women. Let it not serve as a punishment to women who’d want to progress and grow in all spheres. I am calling upon all of us to embrace EachforEqual campaign, for an equal world. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.