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Who represents the real Voice from South Asia?

Whenever I see voices of the delegates in planned events on conferences, most of them represent on behalf of those whom they are working with in poorer communities around the world. If you check out the number of people from the western countries who represent the voices from South Asia, I get nervous.

I remember when I was invited by Action Aid International in 2007 to give a presentation to European Union. The hall was filled with representatives from NGOs and leaders. Unfortunately, none of them represented the South Asia. I was concerned as the meeting was organized by European Union to change the aid policies with regards to international development. So the conference had a lot to do with poor and developing countries and not enough representation to talk about our rights.

I also remember when I attended the World Social Forum in Africa in 2007; I was shocked to see the number of western delegates outnumbering the people representing the poorer countries. I raise about this issue at the various international forums.

We have highly educated and capable women to represent the voice of the South. I am not against the support and good will of the western people who works with the most vulnerable groups and sometimes they talk and feel like them. However, my argument has always been, calling on those who work with vulnerable groups to give opportunities to women from the South. If you hire local South women consultants whatever their capacity, you are building on them. Look at the small number of local people working in UN offices or other INGOs. If you give a chance for women from the South poorer/developing world to speak out in forums, you are empowering them to raise their voices. So please help us. Let us speak for ourselves!

Comments

JaniceW's picture

You captured World Pulse perfectly

As you see in our masthead, we say "No one speaks for me. I speak for myself". Thank you for reminding us that indeed, although governments, businesses, NGOs, and even journalists continue to speak for women and define their causes, no one is more intimately aware of their community's needs than the women of those communities. With new media tools, women from the most remote regions can now speak out in their own words and we have a responsibility to stand back and listen. World Pulse is committed to providing a platform upon which you can speak for yourself, connect and have a voice in the issues affecting your lives. We are listening.

fathmatha's picture

Thank you Janice. I had a

Thank you Janice. I had a look at your team at World Pulse. Most of them are based in developed countries. Do you have a mind at a later stage to give similar opportunities to women and people from the developing world? I understand that you need highly technical team but I always believe, the management and structure talking such serious topics like ' No one speaks for me. I speak for myself' should have a team representing members across the globe. Thanking you for your comments. I appreciate your teams efforts to connect the world to make a better future for us women.

Ms. Fathimath Afiya
PhD candidate in Human Rights and Peace Studies
Social Activist
Republic of Maldives
Tel: (960) 7776530

jadefrank's picture

Voice

Hi Fathimath,

As Janice mentioned, World Pulse was created to provide a global platform for women worldwide, from rural areas to urban cities, to speak for themselves. We believe that it's women like you Fathimath, who hold the wisdom, experience and insight to change the world - and the world urgently needs to hear from you and other women in the developing world.

I love your journal as it points out the lack of representation of local voices in global relief and development initiatives. And I stand in solidarity with you in demanding the inclusion of the local people (men and women) in the decision making process.

I'm so glad that you brought up the lack of global diversity of our own staff. World Pulse is still in start-up mode and our staff is currently very small. As we are based in Portland and rely heavily on volunteers. We are planning to expand our operations in the near future and hire local women in all regions of the world. We also have plans to soon open up a position on our Board of Directors to a member from our PulseWire community. I will give you more details very soon.

Have you heard about the Opportunity Collaboration Fellowship? I encourage you to apply. Find out more here: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/17867

And keep raising your voice! You are such a valuable member of our community as our first member in the Maldives, as an expert in human rights and women's political participation. I encourage you to continue using your journal to bring awareness to women's issues in South Asia.

Warm regards,
Jade

Online Community Manager
World Pulse

fathmatha's picture

Hi Jade Thank you for your

Hi Jade

Thank you for your encouraging words and positive remarks.

I will try to contribute weekly here. I think your PULSE WIRE team is doing a great job to connect women.

Thank you once again.
Wish you all the luck in the world in your efforts to achieve your goal to connect women.

Warm regards

Fathimath

Ms. Fathimath Afiya
PhD candidate in Human Rights and Peace Studies
Social Activist
Republic of Maldives
Tel: (960) 7776530

FAHMIDA YESMINE's picture

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT

HI FATHIMATH,
You have really captured a good point. The women of our South Asia need help. It should not be like that only on the International Women's Day, we talk about their sufferings and their rights. I think we need to change our perspective about how we think about women and how we look at them.

So, keep it up!

Women are united: Never divided!

Best regards,
Fahmida

fathmatha's picture

Hi Fahmida I am glad that we

Hi Fahmida

I am glad that we are in agreement. I agree with you that there should more forums where women from South Asia can express and feel powerful when they talk about violations of their rights. I am trying within my power to create such dialogues and forums.

Thank you!
Warm regards

Fathimath

Ms. Fathimath Afiya
PhD candidate in Human Rights and Peace Studies
Social Activist
Republic of Maldives
Tel: (960) 7776530

Amei's picture

Interesting dialogue - keep it alive

Hello everyone on this dialogue,

Fathimath has raised the issue once again. I am glad I joined this forum.

Let us speak for ourselves. I do appreciate the goodwell of the dominant society. However, people who are victimised and well being violated should have to right to build themselves. People with power should learn to listen and assist by working with people in need. I have had expereinces were projects have been fruitless when people do not own the development projects enforced on them.

There is so much to be done. Mind set and outlook need to be changed how people percieve women.

All the best for you all. :-)

Amei

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