The International women’s day is normally a very special day at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and this year’s 101 women’s day was no different. High school female students from Loreto Limuru and Cardinal Otunga, visited the institute and shared the women’s day cake with the rest of the ILRI community before being addressed by four women scientists, who despite their very humble beginnings have managed to make it in science. The older ladies shared their life’s experiences and words of inspiration to the younger girls.
Shirley Tarawali, plant scientist and director of institutional planning started by spelling out key ingredients of being a lady from that word;
- L – earn, life is learning experience, never allow a learning opportunity to pass you by from all your experiences and encounters
- A – ppreciate yourself, don’t compare yourself with anyone unless it is people who positively inspire you
- D – evelop yourself at all times, be patient but continuously work at investing in yourself
- Y– ou, never be afraid to be yourself, we are all unique and special
Teddy Amuge, a PhD student who was among the three people in a class of 80 to make it to university said that it always starts with one woman, one woman at a time using her skills and bringing out the best in themselves. One woman who chooses to live her life to the fullest, using her differences and abilities to touch a live and make a positive impact will create a viral effect in our society and the world at large.
Jemimah Njuki, a sociologist and team leader of the Poverty Gender and Impact team, challenged the ladies to live a purposeful life and set their life goals at an early age. Most important, that a time is coming when in the next 30 years a majority of the women scientist who addressed them on that day will no longer be where they are, tables will turn and the stage will be occupied by them, it is the younger ladies who will be setting the science agenda and changing lives, while other much younger ladies will be looking up to them for inspiration, importantly, they will have a greater obligation to impact and influence generations after them. And, that as a lady, one cannot afford to perform at mediocre levels, it is only through striving to excel in all areas of one’s life that you become a high achiever.
Nimmo Gicheru an immunologist and PhD student, reminded the ladies that women are gifted in many areas and that it is a real pleasure to be a woman. She emphasized the importance of the subjects they are being taught in school and that all the subjects had a direct relation to science and are important in setting a good foundation for their future careers, she encouraged them to have a strong resolve to excel in all of them.
The girls were also presented with computers and toured the institute.
‘ILRI applies a gender lens to it’s objectives, recognises and conducts research on the multiple roles of livestock and the constraints that smallholders especially women and the poor face in livestock production and marketing.’