As IACD celebrates International Women’s Day with the release of our [Community Development and Women’s Empowerment Edition of Practice Insights Magazine, ]( Ssembatya has a message for our members on the role of communities.

Tony is IACD’s Regional Director for Sub-Sahara Africa, and he works with [UN Women]( He is a Conflict Mediator who founded [Kirabo Doors of Hope]( Children’s Centre in Jinja-Uganda, and he is an activist for Global Girl Child Education with the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative ([UNGEI]( Tony currently co-chairs the National and International Relations Committee. His message is below:
> Every 8th March, the World takes time to reflect on the role of Women in shaping the world. UN Women has this year selected the theme to be; I am generation equality: Realizing Women ́s Rights. In this same year 2020, as we gather later this march for the 64th CSW in NYC, we will be reflecting on Beijing+25, the tremendous achievements that the Women ́s Movement has made, and the challenges still faced, that have to be overcome if we are to have a more fair world. Therefore Women ́s Day even requires us to address issues of climate justice, gender based violence, economic justice and rights for all, among others. As IACD, there is a need to address Women Issues from the Community based perspective. We need to take actions, however small they could be, day by day, with an aim to bring meaningful impact. 25 years ago, when Women gathered in Beijing, this was a step that could bring decisive action in the Women ́s Movement. It was a moment to assess, countries, regions, continents, and this zeal never ceased. As Community Development Practitioners, academics and Experts, our role, voices and advocacy are more relevant today than ever before. We need to celebrate some progress that has been made, as UN Executive Director, has mentioned in her report, such as legislation on domestic violence, access to education for girls, legal reforms in support of gender equality.
> Despite the achievements, there is also need to be aware that 1 in every 10 Women are unable to read and write, that so many women are not given a chance to take part in decision making in the destinies, or future of their respective countries. This does not only imply political decisions, but also economic, social and health decisions. As IACD, we will stand with them and will continue to amplify their voices at the global level. International Women ́s Day on a personal level, always reminds me of the African Women, and more importantly that their progress has been due to a unified, collective action and role of their communities. From IACD, we wish all Women in our lives a happy Women ́s Day.

Photo credit: Alistair Kerr Photography,