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Opinion: Investing in women is an accelerant to a better tomorrow

Agnes Kagure shares on investing in women being the path to a better future

by Isaac Odhiambo Snr
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By Agnes Kagure

I welcome this year’s International Women’s Day celebrated yesterday, not just as a traditional commemoration but a special occasion to reflect on the women-empowerment journey thus far, and even more so, an urgent call to action to accelerate women’s progress. This celebration is an opportunity to look back on the progress we’ve made with regard to the women agenda, to appreciate the steps gained, to acknowledge the missed hits and with that knowledge, to chart a path that ushers women to better days ahead.

As a woman leader and a passionate champion for the women and girls’ empowerment cause, I believe that one of the most powerful ways to accelerate progress is by investing in women at all levels of our society and in thematic areas that matter most to them. These investments can be in the form of targeted economic empowerment programs, education and skills development, leadership action, and sexual and reproductive health.

An empowered society is one on a path to prosperity and empowering women economically is key to unlocking their full potential and realizing sustainable development. It is an accepted fact, backed by studies, that when women have access to economic opportunities, they invest in their families and communities, leading to broader social and economic benefits for all. This further calls on us to prioritize initiatives that promote women’s entrepreneurship, access to finance, and positions in both public and private workplaces for the sake of posterity.

Education is a fundamental human right and is a powerful tool for empowerment. Upscaling the investment in girls’ education and skills development not only transforms individual lives but also has a ripple effect on entire communities and societies. We need to ensure equal access to quality education and training programs that equip women with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in diverse fields and one that lays the foundation for an equipped women-force that steps up to the future roles.

As can be seen, among the most vocal, effective and admirable leaders we have today are women, but they are still way too few. Women’s voices and perspectives are essential for driving innovation, creativity, and inclusive decision-making at all levels of leadership. We must actively support women’s leadership and representation across all sectors, from politics and business to academia and the arts. This includes breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating pathways for women to rise to leadership positions.

Access to healthcare and reproductive rights are fundamental human rights that are often out of reach for many women and girls who need them. Investing in women’s health and well-being not only saves lives but also strengthens communities and economies. We need to advocate for policies and programs that prioritize women’s health, including sexual and reproductive health rights, maternal health, and access to essential healthcare services. After all, it is impossible to have a healthy society when one half of it is deprived of its much-needed health concerns.

Investing in women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. By empowering women and girls, we unlock their potential to drive positive change and accelerate progress for all.  As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s commit to investing more in more women and creating a world where every woman and girl can thrive, lead, and contribute to a brighter future for generations to come. Tomorrow depends on today, let’s do it!

Agnes Kagure is a women empowerment champion and founder, Agnes Kagure Foundation


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