This post was written by Acholi Times
It was the former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States that once said during the celebrations to mark International World: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish.”
Secretary Clinton referred to this era as “the Participation Age.”
And indeed there are women who are good examples of our participation age. Strong women participate in ways that will impact not only on their families but the entire society. Indeed there are strong Acholi women who sit in Parliament, head companies and NGOs, and are active in public service. They are educators and administrators, doctors and nurses, journalists, entertainers, and hold their place proudly among the world’s elite. We should be proud of them.
One such contributor is Dr Paska Layet. Layet was born in Padibe West Sub County in Lamwo district (formerly Kitgum). She started her primary education in Padibe Girls, and went on to join Tororo Girls Secondary School for her secondary education, before coming back to Gulu High to complete her higher education. On completion she studied mental health nursing. She worked in Butabika hospital and also with mental health patients in the community.
She later received government sponsorship and graduated with a degree in medicine from Makerere University Faculty of Medicine. She went on to complete a Masters program in management of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders [PTSD] in Italy.
She lived briefly in the The Netherlands where she gained further knowledge in her areas of study.
“I have learnt a lot about women empowerment, management, and development including enhancing skills in public offices. Currently I am a voluntary administrator with a cultural Acoli group called Acoli Ber; it comprises more than 1,700 members. I am also an administrator with Woman of Faith in Action where we are supporting girl child education in Lamwo district,” she says.
“I am a very determined lady with a wealth of experience and I may even want to contest for the position of the Woman Member of Parliament for Lamwo district, because I know I can change the lives of my people greatly. I believe in strengthening the women because women are the pillars and backbone of the home. I further believe in the education of the girls because that is one way of empowering our girls to face the future with hope. Given the chance to utilise my knowledge and experience, I can render quality service with dignity to my district,” she added.
She concludes by noting that women are a cornerstone of any society and the simple fact is that no country can hope to move ahead if it is leaving half of its people behind. “Women and girls drive our societies and economies. They build peace and prosperity. Investing in them means investing in regional and global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for everyone in the world. ”
So as we celebrate our successes and achievers of today, like Dr Layet, we must empower them to work for the cause of peace in our region, development, reconstruction and equality.
The post originally appeared on Acholi Times and is republished here with permission.