The international Women Day was commemorated and celebrated by bringing together men and women of JRS Burundi to share, listen and exchange on women conditions.
The day started with a Brunch organized by the male colleagues for the women in the office. This was a joyful moment not only because of the sharing around food but also because it was created a space led by the country director Ousmane where the female colleagues were invited to reflect on “women conditions within the institution” and to advocate for those benefits they deserve and should have.
For the second big moment of the day, the women made a presentation around the theme of the day “Embrace equity”. The session was a reminder that talking about equity means to look at structural and systemic barriers that hold back the institution and thus affect both women and men. The women used this opportunity to advocate for the improvement of their condition as a JRS staff.
The sessions resulted in the management team approving some changes like increasing of number of days for maternity leave according to the Burundian law; considering part-time work from home; institutionalization of the International Women Day as space for discussion around women conditions and organizing training for women to increase work opportunity.
We still have a long way to go to allow women to achieve their full potential within work environment, but the listening and changes supported by the Management during this day represent a first step towards equity.