Here at Sseko, we’re thrilled to see the traction that the #HeForShe campaign is making.
We’re sure you’ve heard of it by now; Emma Watson’s speech on feminism has exploded all over social media, as the former Harry Potter celebrity and current global goodwill ambassador publicly shared her stance on gender equality. As an advocate for women’s rights, Watson has used her fame and reputation to bring attention to the lack of equal opportunities for men and women. We’re into it.
Her speech, which you can watch here, encourages the participation of men and boys to act as advocates for women’s rights. She shies away from distinctive borders and limitations between men and women, and poses the question, “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited to feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”
(Side note: Watson also mentions that women in Africa will not be guaranteed a secondary education until 2086. That’s 72 YEARS until we are able to ensure that women will have the opportunity to learn!!)
Our founder Liz gave an eerily similar speech a month or so ago at the Plywood People conference, where she spoke about what it means to “be a feminist,” and ultimately, like Emma, invites men to join the conversation on gender equality. It’s simply not realistic to think that women alone can redefine the way they are treated and respected. So Liz asks, What do we want our sons to grow up to look like? What does it mean that “Boys Will Be Boys”? And what do we dream it will mean in the future? Check out her #BoysWillBe speech below for a better understanding.
Unbeknownst to many of you, we’ve got a few men behind the scenes at Sseko, who are dedicating their lives to gender equality. We couldn’t do it without them! (Nor would we want to.)
(If you don’t recognize this fellah, meet Ben! Co-owner of Sseko–and Liz’s husband!)
We applaud women like Emma; her passion and dedication towards the cause make her an honorary #SsekoBrave, for sure. But more importantly, we applaud the men who have involved themselves in the conversation on gender equality, through gestures large and small. We’re fortunate at Sseko Uganda to see stories of proud husbands quite often, but this recent one seemed worth sharing. Our Uganda lead Ashley recently sent it over; enjoy!
This summer one of our Accessory ladies Susan gave birth to her second son, baby Jeremiah. He is an exceptionally cute baby.
While she was working she was HUGE, but she kept coming in past her due date and was still one of the top producers on her team. She begrudgingly took her maternity leave after she went through some scary labor pains in the workshop (I thought it was going to be our first Sseko delivery) and ended up having a really hard birth and had to have a C-section and some extra surgeries. She just came back from her three month maternity leave today, is looking considerably smaller and super stoked to be back.
Her husband Julias works as a pastry chef and stopped by this afternoon to say hello. We don’t get many husband visitors, but he wanted to come in in-person and say thank you to everyone.
After he toured the workshop, he stopped by the office to let everyone know how much the insurance we have helped his family. Because Susan’s birth was really risky, it would have been super expensive for them. Because of her insurance, their family save about 6 months salary, and kept Susan and the new baby safe and happy.
He said he was grateful that she had a place to work like this, where she could be proud of what she did and the way she can care for her family.
He kept saying thank you for everything and was so genuine Aggie started to cry. Then all of us started to cry.
Here are photos of Susan, glowing and her new baby Jeremiah!
We’re fortunate here at Sseko to get to see little glimpses that encourage us to just. keep. swimming. and give us hope that step by step, family by family, beautiful things are happening.