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Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor: “Every Day Is Women’s Day”

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor lives her life taking up spaces. From books to places and conversations, she partakes and contributes. Most especially, in conversations about her experiences as an African woman. An Afro-nomad, Yvonne loves to experience African culture extensively, and express its significance in her work. Exploring, sightseeing, and documenting how it makes her feel. For RADR’s IWD 2023 campaign, Yvonne shares the complexities of living as an African woman in the art world. Alongside the importance of creating supportive systems that bridge the accessibility gap between women and opportunities. 

In your experience, what’s the most interesting part about being a woman 

Definitely immersing oneself in exploring, learning, and uncovering the many dimensions, directions, and possibilities in this adventure into woman-being. To explore the characterization of the feminine with ease, wonder, curiosity, and delight because the lessons and discoveries also apply to me, also enhance my life. 

That’s quite interesting. What has been your biggest challenge yet?

Hmmm, that has to be inhabiting the literary vocation with ease and growing in it within my context.

Have you ever had an experience that made you feel you were getting a different treatment simply because you’re a woman?

Well, certain opportunities and literary residencies that came my way were made available for me because I am a woman. I am most grateful for that privilege. 

This year’s IWD talks about creating equal digital opportunities. What opportunities do you look forward to accessing in the future? 

With equal opportunities, I would love to celebrate a diversity of opportunities and customization of opportunities. I find the whole one-size-fits-all mentality rather retrogressive and an obstacle to possibilities. In my role, I will continue to support and encourage emerging writers across the genders, without fear or favor. I also look forward to meeting those who are ready to re-imagine the arts and ensure that the underdeveloped part of the ecology has access to services, mentorship, and resources for growth. 

If there’s anything you’d change about working in the arts, what will it be? 

I’ll support the creation of products and services that can enhance the life and sustenance of women in the arts. That these women are given as much regard and treated with seriousness as other women (and men) in the other sectors of business and enterprise. 

For IWD every year, several multinationals and companies come up with several campaigns that are supposedly targeted toward women. What’s something you’d sincerely hope to see change when it comes to these campaigns? 

Wouldn’t it be far more meaningful to have campaigns that are linked to the real purpose and life-transformative inputs rather than the public performances/lip service linked to the day?

 Every day is women’s day, you know, and the areas that need change, healing, amplification, and transformation in the lives of women worldwide are so diverse and numerous.

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Jacqueline Alabi
Jacqueline Alabi
Jacqueline Alabi is a Nigerian content writer and storyteller, passionate about amplifying stories about the African creative industry. Outside work, Jacqueline's favorite pastime is watching rom-coms and pretending to be the main character in them. A true Gen-Z babe, she believes that soft work will always be greater than hard work, so she balances both.