This Saturday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. Supporting and empowering women and girls are fundamental to the work of DSW, something which new strive to achieve every day.
To celebrate this, and the continuing contribution that women have made to DSW’s work, we are giving over the blog every day to members of DSW to talk about the importance of ‘Women working in Development’
This evening, we give the floor to Dominika Jajkowicz, Monitoring & Research Officer at DSW Kenya.
Tell us a little about yourself – who are you and what is your role at DSW?
Based in Nairobi, I am working as a Monitoring & Research Officer for the Faith to Action programme which targets Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) active in SRHR. My job is two-fold. First of all, I support the Faith to Action implementing team in a systematic assessment of progress towards programme’s objectives, and documentation of successes and lessons learnt. Secondly, much of my work focuses on building evidence-base on FBOs and SRHR. This means I conduct research on FBOs’ interventions and generate data and information which could be utilised by FBOs in their program, policy and advocacy work.
What excites you most about your work at DSW?
I am encouraged to witness that DSW is pursuing innovative approaches and leveraging FBOs’ potential to tackle existing health and gender disparities. I am also motivated by the fact that my work poses an exciting opportunity to challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom. For example there are a lot of voices out there who view FBOs as strictly opposing SRHR agenda, yet we have witnessed and demonstrated that FBOs are not monolithic and often supportive of SRHR. At the same we challenge FBOs and religious leaders to think outside the box by confronting them with information on what is happening on the ground.
In your view, how have women shaped the global development arena?
The importance of women who have engaged in actively shaping development priorities, challenging the status quo and demanding greater openness and sensitivity to women’s issues cannot be overemphasised. Yet, a lot of work needs to be done to turn policy discussions into operational realities as women remain largely one of the most vulnerable members of society.
Who is your biggest role model?
I have always struggled with such questions. I don’t think I have one but I admire all people, be they male or female, who are genuine and passionate about their work and who bring positive contributions to the lives of others in one way or another.
How will you be marking International Women’s Day this year?
It will be interesting for me to go and see how Nairobi celebrates the International Women’s Day and whether the theme of celebrations is different to what I am used to seeing in Poland or other countries in Europe.