The month of March is International Women’s month, and the theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge. Choosing to challenge can come in many different forms, I AM WATER has chosen to challenge gender equality by taking action to create a gender equal world. Young people find it challenging to conceptualise themselves in positions in which they have never seen someone like them. Girls who do not have exposure to women working in and enjoying the ocean will therefore not consider this as an option for themselves. This month we held an all women Coaches Training, in order to bring more women into our team and to provide the girls on our workshops with more positive, powerful and supportive ocean role models.
“Attending the I AM WATER coaches training was really great. I learnt a lot about the ocean and sea creatures. I even had my first snorkeling experience. It was a really amazing experience.” ~ Ncombeka Asanda, newly trained I AM WATER coach.
In addition to creating and making space for women and girls to enter the ocean conservation sphere, I AM WATER is also a strong advocate for the protection of the ocean, which is inextricably linked to climate change. The effects of climate change are experienced most immediately and severely by women, United Nations studies have shown that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. Therefore, choosing to challenge gender equality also involves being aware of the ways in which ocean degradation and climate change affect women and working towards preventing and reducing these effects.
This month and every month we choose to challenge gender bias and the many effects it has on daily lives of women globally.
“Attending the woman's coaches training was an amazing experience to work with other women with different backgrounds and lifestyles with the same passion , it was also an excellent workshop, well structured, and full of practical tips to assist us to fulfill the mission of I am Water. Being a woman in the working field can be overwhelming due to male dominancy however being a part of the woman's workshop gave us woman the opportunity to impact and make a difference in the community with all our diverse personalities and cultures.” ~ Michaela Leo, newly trained I AM WATER coach.