I am an ordinary woman living in Rukara Sector of Kayonza District. My life used to be very hard, the only source of revenue was coming from tailoring from which I could not even raise enough money to sustain our basic needs. Even the sewing machine I was using I was renting for 3,000 Rwandan francs a month.
During the war, my family (my husband, five children and parents-in-law) and I were forced by the Serb police to leave our house. We had no choice but try to escape to Albania. On our way there the Serb forces maltreated us in different ways, by searching us, threatening to kill us etc. But fortunately we managed to cross the border and go to Albania.
One day we received news that an organization called Women for Women started enrolling women in life skills renewal program. I thought there was nothing to be renewed after all those lives have been lost.
We are celebrating today the International Women's Day. Isn't it the perfect time to talk about men? Indeed, engaging Men in the crusade to inspire a shift in corporate cultures, promoting gender balanced leadership teams up and down the corporate ladder seems to be imperative in 2014.
We know a gender-gap exists in some industries but this does not seem to be the case in the social economy and in time I suspect there will be much we can learn from this to ensure healthier statistics around women in leadership across a much wider range of sectors.
The light of International Women's Day is burning brighter than ever before. Every year, I am genuinely overwhelmed by the impassioned clamour of celebration in March. And every year, I reflect on the achievements made for and by women in every corner of the globe, and I am left full of deep optimism and hope.
The theme of International Women's day 2014, 'Inspiring change', is an opportunity to reconsider the capabilities on which business success rests. According to Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland, 'Gender is a business issue not a women's issue'.
As we approach International Women's Day on 8 March, the prospects for women in business look outstanding. Many experts have covered targets for women and the training, regulation, and support needed to get there. Through my forward-looking ethics lens, here are a few thoughts on how we as women will behave along the way and when we arrive.
As another International Women's Day (Saturday 8 March) approaches, a vast and diverse array of women's organisations, movements and charities are focused on getting their messages of equality and justice out to the world.
Universities and colleges are a little more interested, but they still struggle to integrate self discovery and career coaching into the core curriculum. And until they do, careers advice is meaningless.
Television is still the ultimate lean-forward experience. It has shown that it can embrace digital opportunities, and is now beginning to understand how its content can be delivered and monetised worldwide in a way that wasn't possible ten years ago. As Darwin pointed out, you don't have to be the strongest to survive, you just need to be adaptable, and TV has shown that it can be just that. But there are still reefs ahead on which TV could founder. Television may be adaptable, but it is not very good at changing course quickly.
We need to see much more mentoring and for schools to actively, not passively, ensure a throughput of female role models talking to, and hopefully inspiring, pupils. Governors and local education authorities should take a firm lead.
I've spent most of my working life in a male dominated environment. My focus has been on getting on with the job and doing whatever I've done to the best of my ability. However, I have always been aware that others would observe my career progression as a female engineer with interest, and maybe see me as something of a role model.
A recent report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee expressed concern at the low proportions of women at senior level in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) professions.
Next up is next spring because SS15 waits for no man! Working on the brief for the design team is hugely important. It includes my thoughts and inspiration for colour palettes, fabric groups and key shapes and once this is done, they can start their creative process in earnest.
Please, TV gods, after teasing and thrilling us with multi dimensional heroines do not try and pawn off a simplistic denouement of princes and wicked step mothers. We can handle a little uncertainty and mystery; after all we live and thrive with these every day.