I received a happy new year message from my governor yesterday and while it was both cute and thoughtful I didn't appreciate it the way I appreciated the new year messages I got from my friends. I could tell the message that came from the heart and the generic message was just a PR stunt to boost approval ratings.
I have had the same experience with corporates and different business organizations and I am here to say that messages during the holidays do not cut it. We barely read most of them so they are as meaningful as turning the lights on during the day.
Instead of investing all your money into unnecessary PR campaigns, here are some of the things that would make women happy in 2023.
The gender pay gap is still an issue in every part of the world. Instead of a new year's message, pay women the high salaries you give men for doing the same job.
Historically women have always been considered for work because you could pay them less, which isn't a fair way of living.
Abolish The Motherhood Penalty
Women are still penalized for carrying wombs while being needed for continuity. They are not hired when pregnant and are sometimes fired for being pregnant as if capitalism would survive without the workforce that women bring into this world.
Instead of asking your marketing team to send them happy new year messages, how about you start being more accommodating of women who are in the fertility age?
Comprehensive Health Care
Kenya has recently scrapped the cover that helped mothers access healthcare during childbirth. This cover helped mitigate child mortality; it is heartbreaking to get into the new year without it.
Everywhere across the world women die when they are trying to give birth. What would make us happy is not the new year messages that politicians filled our social media timelines with. It is a universal healthcare package that is affordable to women of all classes.
Due to the looming health crisis, clean water has become as rare as gold. It shouldn't be so. Water is the bane of our existence.
If politicians tried to give us that we would be happy even without the happy new year messages.
Better HR practices
Sending new year messages is not the problem but sending them while issues like sexual harassment at the workplace remain unaddressed at the workplace is one huge problem.
What would make women happy this year is being heard when they raise issues. No one should be quitting their jobs in 2023 like many women do because bosses in the corporate world move with so much unchecked power.
Efficient Customer Care Service
This is an important part of every business, yet it is the most ignored. No one wants to call customer care lines that go answered. No one wants to visit a business establishment and go unheard. In this new year, the whole world would be happy if every business invested in proper customer care desks.
You cannot wish the people who voted for you a happy new year and then spend the rest of the year looting resources and imagining it is all okay.
A happy year would mean us living in a country where public resources are not used to benefit a chosen few. It would mean having proper service delivery and a clear and transparent government.
Do not wish people a happy new year unless you are sure you will do your duty to make sure they will have a happy one.