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Team Lioness Aims to Fight Poachers in Amboseli National Park in Kenya

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Team Lioness
Members of Team Lioness are members are seen in traditional garb on a day off from work. (Courtesy - Patrick Papatiti, Commander of the Olgululului Community. VOA

By Lenny Ruvaga

Kenya’s Amboseli National Park is home to herds of elephants that have been the target of poachers trafficking in the illicit trade in ivory. Now a program that has brought women on board in the fight against poaching is gaining traction.

At the start of another day at the Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch, 23-year-old park ranger Purity Amleset, the leader of this all female ranger unit, sets out the day’s plan with her team, ensuring that each member has her orders correct.

Today’s task: locating an elephant and her newborn calf.

Team Lioness

Dubbed “Team Lioness,” the ranger unit is made up of eight women whose core duties involve protecting wildlife within the 1,230 square kilometer stretch of parkland that surrounds Amboseli National Park.

They are chosen for their academic achievements, physical stamina, integrity and discipline.

Amleset says joining an all-female ranger unit has been beneficial to the traditionally patriarchal Maasai community.

She says her community held the view that women and girls were the weaker sex and that girls could only do menial jobs and housework, which included only raising a family. However over the course of time, the female rangers have been showing and telling them the importance of being a ranger just like the menfolk.

Team Lioness
Female rangers of the TeamL Lioness at the Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch pose for a group photo with their male colleagues. VOA

Gateway for poachers

The Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch’s proximity to the Amboseli park makes it a likely gateway for poachers who may seek entry into the national park to hunt illegally.

Patrick Papatiti, the commander of the Olgululului Community Wildlife Rangers has about 76 rangers under his charge. He says integrating women has not been easy.

“We have the same mentality even within the male ranger unit, the same mentality that ladies cannot do it. But surprisingly we have the best young women who can run, who can move faster than these guys, who can go long(er) distances than these guys,” he sad. “So from that, working together helped us to clear the norm that these are the same ladies the same girls that you see in the village.”

Despite the challenges, in the end James Isiche — the regional director for East Africa from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) — says starting an all-female ranger unit was a risk worth taking.

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“Communities in Kenya are male-dominated, but this particular one is extremely male-dominated,” he said. “So getting young ladies to engage in what is seen as a man’s job is a huge success and what we (are) seeing is that it’s encouraging other girls to step up and say that ‘when I finish school I also want to join the female lionesses.’” (VOA)

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All You Need to Know About Gender Parity

Are we any closer to parity in gender pay scales

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gender parity
Gender parity for women has an economic as well as social impact in a country like India. Pixabay

As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, gender equality and corporate transparency, global retail major RB has recently issued reports on gender pay in its top five markets around the globe, including India in the companys first global Gender Pay Report.

Gender parity for women has an economic as well as social impact in a country like India. Achieving gender equality in India would have a larger economic impact there than in any other region in the world-$700 billion of added GDP in 2025-but comprehensive change is needed, said a report by McKinsey in November 2015.

gender parity
Gender equality and corporate transparency, global retail major RB has recently issued reports on gender parity in its top five markets around the globe, including India in the companys first global Gender Pay Report. Pixabay

Ranjay Radhakrishnan, Chief Human Resources Officer, commented: “In 2019, we promised to go beyond what was legally required for gender pay reporting. Today, I’m proud to say that we have delivered on that commitment, issuing our first global Gender Pay Report covering our five largest markets and representing nearly 50 percent of our global employees. It is clear that RB needs to better reflect our consumers and the profile of the markets we operate in. We recognise there is more to do to achieve our ambition of increasing the number of women in senior management positions to 40 percent by 2022.”

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As one of the first FTSE 100 companies to go beyond the UK’s gender pay disclosure requirements, RB’s 2019 report covers the US, the UK, China, India and Mexico, which represents nearly 50percent of RB’s global employees. RB’s global ambition is to double the numbers of women in senior management positions to 40 percent by 2022, from a 2016 baseline of 20 percent. In 2019, 26 percent of RB’s senior management positions globally were held by women.

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Other than the traditional corporate houses, the United Nations has its corporate gender equality evaluations in the UN system that aims to inform the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review by providing evidence on what works and what does not work in mainstreaming gender equality in UN entities. (IANS)