IWD 2022 #BreakingTheBias – Girls, let your hair down and out!

March 8 is designated as International Women’s Day and every year on this day, the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women are celebrated and hurdles to equality examined. It also raises awareness of the inequalities girls and women face around the world and how those hamper our growth as a human race.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow with campaign theme being #BreakTheBias”.

#BreakTheBias is fitting because the day is also one of action where women and conscious men come together as a global community to advocate for gender equality.

In today’s world where women and girls are more active than ever in leadership, innovation and tearing down barriers; there is still a silent stronghold of prejudice that exists, one that seems so innocuous since we all have it; but once weaponized divides from within and is used as a form social control. The head of hair the gendered female is born with has become a symbol of status and achievement, ease of social acceptance, beauty or lack thereof. Curly, kinky, wavy, or straight, too short, too long, too thick, too thin; there is always a socially derived mechanism around our hair consciously and unconsciously to sift and sort us as women and girls into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘acceptable’ and not, a tool used to further distract from activating our power.

Each and every girl and woman is unique and deserves to celebrate their individualism. The stronger the individual girl, the stronger the group to which she belongs or the country in which she lives. One of those acts of self-expression is how she CHOOSES to wear her hair. As part of the Ministry of Education’s plans to observe International Women’s Day 2022, female teachers and pupils across the country are encouraged to celebrate hair freedom on this day by relaxing rules around what are considered “acceptable” hairstyle choices.

On that day, girls can come to school wearing their loose unsecured hair, afros, braids, curls, whatever style, if any, that makes them feel most beautiful and confident and purposeful. Until school rules change, and we are examining some of those with a view to making practical changes, styles should not include permanent or semi-permanent changes that would breach said rules the day after this celebration.

On March 8, let your hair down and out, express yourself, talk about women’s day and all the benefits of gender equality, and what you think you can do to help break the bias; strike the pose and tag us in your photos. We want to see how you celebrate you and other girls.

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