After watching this carton series for years and now having to watch it with my four year old daughter, I have developed a habit of trying to learn something new from all the toons I watch. Before you ask what a cartoon series has to do with a women’s magazine, hear me out.
The creator of the series Craig McCracken came up with these animated series that revolves around the lives of three lovable girls, Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles .They are the super heroes of Towns ville (a fictional town) and their work among all the normal hum drum of attending school, playing house is to save and defend the towns people from monsters and villains the likes of mojo jojo and the amoeba boys.
In real life, I liken Blossom and her siblings to your normal day to day African woman in Nairobi,Kampala or Kigali juggling work, family and other social responsibilities. But this woman faces a number of villains as she goes about her daily life, from societal prejudices she faces as a result of her gender, to the proverbial glass ceiling as she climbs the corporate ladder, maybe even the emotional, physical and sexual abuse she may be facing it is no easy task being a woman today.
One of my favorite annual rituals every year is to buy the pull out of the Top 40 under 40 in the Business Daily, which is a profile of women doing well in various disciplines from business, to the public and private sector to academia. And this year true to their word they never disappointed. They had the crème dela crème of women in Kenya today who are making inroads in all facets of society.
When confronting issues that are facing women today, we need to be careful not to overplay the equality card lest we leave out the men whose support we may require. The key to achieving balance in any woman’s life is to strike a balance where she is able to use her wits, femininity and skills to her advantage.
One of the women interviewed for these series was Kanini Muthoni who at 34 is a director at Kleinwort Benson and she says” women are endowed with a number of qualities that give them an advantage over men in the boardroom if they utilize them well. We are better risk takers, far better at communicating than men and generally very well organized’
From the first female pilot at the national carrier Kenya Airways, Captain Irene Mutungi to Caroline Mbui who at 33 is the Group Business Strategy Director at Ogilvy (Kenya) and whose responsibility it is to market Kenya to both local and foreign investors, Kenyan women have made great strides in all fields.
The three girls in the cartoon series have been described as sugar, spice and all things nice-which is an idiom used to describe girls but their creator Professor Utanium accidentally added something extra-Chemical X which gave each of these girls superpowers. Call this chemical x fortitude, courage to go where no other women have dared to or ambition, but this is what every woman needs in order to excel in whatever field she finds herself in be it business, the public or private sector.
Young women and girls today are not lacking in role models as we a few decades back, women need to go out and show what they can do. They need to go fight the monsters and villains that are facing our society today from poverty, to discrimination, to lack of information there is still a lot that women reading this today can do to pave the way for future generations to learn from.
Mentoring young girls in schools is one way for them to show this girls who may or may not have role models that the sky is the limit. They need not be afraid or ashamed of their gender. Their skills and their femininity are a strength that they can tap into to chart a brighter future for themselves.
Every year in Kenya we have the national examination for high school students that start in October and each year we have girls who sit their examinations just after giving birth. Our girls need to know about their sexuality and the need to abstain till they are through with their education. And there is no better way for them to learn this than from their sisters reading this article or even from the mother with a little girl reading this. One day that cute four year old is going to ask you the birds and the bees question and there is no one better placed to address this than you.
We also need to have more women involved in their community affairs be it in civil or political societies because the big wigs in parliament making the decisions that are affecting women today may not have the pulse on what is affecting the woman in Kenya today. It is up to you and me to confront these issues be it by joining civil society groups or standing up for elective posts women and young women especially need to make their voices heard amid all the din the men are making. The issues affecting women like accessibility to quality health care, poverty, abuse are better articulated and understood coming from a sister.
Last but not least, as they say you can only change the world one bit at a time and it start with you and me. Let women today make those subtle changes that will make the world a better place for the next generation of girls. We can tap into harness the little things that make the woman in us special, the sugar, spice and all things nice that we possess. Let’s unleash our power puff girls’ mentality and conquer the world!