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On March 8, we gathered with much fanfare to celebrate international women’s day. As you’d expect, speeches extolled the achievements in advancing women’s rights and empowerment. On the day, I also gave a speech on women’s empowerment. I highlighted how, for empowerment to be effective, women must be met where they are, and their diversity must be embraced. Women must also be allowed to add value authentically as women — not as distorted versions of men. But I’m concerned that political parties, particularly in the run-up to the elections, have adopted a one-size-fits-all paradigm that focuses mainly on jobs and land, to the exclusion of such nuance. When it comes to land, for example, the emphasis is on redistribution; there is seemingly no plan for those who have land but who, through decades of dispossession, have lost the social knowledge required for the productive and sustainable use of that land. What about the innovative women who can’t find markets for their agricultural of...

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