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Adelle Onyango on leading the way for women.

Fa calendar 16 grey March 8, 2019   
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Equality is not a fight to take power away from one and give it to another. It’s to create equal opportunity. 

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We are constantly inspired by women who live to inspire and uplift others. Adelle Onyango, Founder of The Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI), is a force to reckon. The media personality has put in the work despite being faced with challenges along the way.

This has seen her get recognition in different spheres. She was named as one of OkayAfrica’s 100 extraordinary African women for 2018 and BBC’s 100 inspirational and innovative women in the world for 2017. Adelle has also served on the Youth Advisory Board for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s second annual Goalkeeper’s conference. When it comes to life and career, we want to be able do it all, which is challenging. But Adelle has somehow figured that out and is winning at it.

Adelle’s sentiments echo this year’s International Women’s Day theme “Think equal, Build smart, Innovate for change.” She shared with us the experiences, challenges and achievements she has faced in her personal and professional life.

How are you celebrating Women’s day this year?

This year, I’ll be hosting an amazing event at Google, called Women Will, that aims to inspire women and get them ready for the next step in their careers. We’ll be talking about leadership, digital skills, and entrepreneurship. I’ll also get to interview Muthoni Drummer Queen about a Women Will documentary that will premier at the event.

What challenges have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field?

There are some subtle, and some not so subtle pressures in my industry to change who you are. It requires a lot of mental strength, but I have overcome this pressure  by remaining true to myself.

Another challenge is that there are not a lot of female decision makers in our industry. Representation matters. And having more women in decision making roles is crucial to achieving gender equity and empowering women and girls.

The Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI) is an advocacy organization that’s shedding light on issues facing vulnerable populations, one of them being women. What kind of solutions have you created and what’s the impact so far?

The Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI) is using the power of storytelling to amplify gender equity champions. For example, I visited Kakamega where, through an organization called GROOTS Kenya, I got to meet a watchdog group that is made up of both women and men who work tirelessly on many gender equity issues such as making sure girls stay in school; pursuing justice for survivors of gender-based violence; and fighting for the rights of women who have been disinherited.

Through storytelling, AOI can educate the public about people and organizations that are working towards gender equity, and show just how much we can achieve in our communities when we come together with our own solutions.

What would you say needs to be done to make this world a fairer and more equal place?

I think we all need to work together because equality is not a fight to take power away from one and give it to another. It’s to create equal opportunity and in doing so, elevating entire ecosystems.

With regard to gender-based violence, we need to examine the role that men and boys play in ensuring a more gender equal society. We need to have more honest conversations with our sons because our daughters are not the problem. If our sons know what's right, we can live in society as equals and make greater strides towards ending gender-based violence.

Who’s your ideal female icon?

Phoebe Asiyo! For over four decades, she has consistently advocated for more female representation in leadership roles and for girls to gain access to education. She’s one of the longest serving female parliamentarians, first woman to become a Luo elder, and one of the first female prison wardens.

Share with us stories on who or how you are celebrating The International Women's Day. 

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    Antony | March 11, 2019 09:31

    nine months she carried me nine yrs disciplined me,love you my mum i celebrate you as womanin my life the my girlfrnd

    OKOL | March 10, 2019 17:17

    I celebrate my mummy Florence Asio (RIP).Her promise to buy for me slippers for Christmas made me work so hard in class. Am where I am because of her. I cherish women. Women have built communities today we talk about an empowered society!. °God bless mothers and keep them a live!

    MUYINDA | March 10, 2019 15:02

    I celebrate Naalongo my mum your my hiro

    BETH | March 08, 2019 17:21

    I celebrate my mother Margaret wairimu..I pray to God that He keeps her for long... Long enough for me to repay all that you've done for me mama..

    Vincent | March 08, 2019 16:19

    Adelle Onyango I celebrate you today! You're not only a female icon but an inspiration and point of admiration to men. Bravo! Happy women's day

    Lydiah | March 08, 2019 15:26

    I celebrate my mother woman like no other...even at my darkest she is always there for me. her prayers keeps me moving

    NG'IELA | March 08, 2019 12:21

    I celebrate my mom, Phoebe Achieng. She means the world to me. May God continue blessing you with many more years of industriousness ahead Mama.

    IRENE | March 08, 2019 12:02

    I celebrate my mom she's been there for me since day one and her prayers keep me going no matter challenges I face.

    BRIAN | March 08, 2019 11:31

    I celebrate my mother Carester Kemunto. She has been my mentor and she has supported me all through up to where i am now.

    GEORGE | March 08, 2019 09:42

    I celebrate women genuinely. I deeply believe an empowered woman equals an empowered society. We need more female voices and should support rather than criticize these bold change makers. If my mother wasn't bold and daring, I wouldn't have been where I am right now. We need women to take care of our society through leadership and caring decisions. I love Adelle and I listened to her story when she came to ALX space to share with us her journey. She is the epitome of boldness and HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY.

    CHEPYEMUT | March 08, 2019 09:37


    gilbert | March 08, 2019 09:30

    I celebrate my mother Grace Yator.she is a pillar to me in all situations in life

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