The Awakening Of Women Warriors
What a journey from where my first fancies didn’t exceed the limits of my obscure village to the world Pulse where the world opens its arms and embraces Halima’s evolution!
With every article I write, read or comment on, I feel wrapped in the toga of knowledge and empowerment. The training and package of self-empowerment that helps my mind grow , overcome limitations, and release its full potential to cement my feet on a solid ground. Shouldering part in the building process of tomorrow’s society for my daughter’s generation is the top priority.
I have been fortunate to have met wonderful personalities, including the World Pulse staff, as well as courageous colleagues from the four corners of the world. I certainly feel proud to allude to the fact that, during my training, I wrote two women’s biographies who have both been among the three awardees selected at the end of the program: Busayo Obisakin form Nigeria and Jacqueline Patino from Bolivia. Both ladies have opened my eyes to the fact that women’s sufferings are a global phenomenon.
This giant platform has done me great favors. Thanks to this Program, the remarkable story of the Sudanese female journalist Lubna Hussein, who was sentenced to flogging by the Sudanese authorities for wearing pants, found its way to the international media. In addition, my frontline assignment, “A Future Without Females Genital Mutilations” has the lion’s share of publication in the international media of which I have never dreamt of. Please check the link below for the full story: (http://www.google.com.sa/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=halima+mohame...
Having women’s voices heard has salvaged me and many others. Traditions and uneven development are main factors behind women’s suffering in my homeland. The situation is expected to aggravate especially with the 9 January 2011 Referendum on self-determination Southern Sudan.
In addition to previous chronic situations in the Sudan, there are still tribal traditions reported, such as that a woman has the right only to go out three times during her lifetime: from her mother's womb into the world, from her father's house to her husband’s, and lastly, from her husband's home to the graveyard.
However, this backwardness is perhaps due to the concentration by the Sudanese women’s emancipation movement on political equality more than addressing social problems and bringing effective solutions to them as well as introducing lasting social changes. This might explain why Sudanese women were the first among African and Arab women to obtain the right of equal payment, parliamentary representation since 1950s and 1960s, nonetheless, young girls in many parts of Sudan are still circumcised. A woman can be flogged for wearing pants as we have seen in Lubna’s case.
Engaging women in decision-making starts from the house; yet in most cases women are partners in crimes committed against their own fellow women in the name of preserving the tribe, community, religion, customs, and traditions. Unfortunately Mothers’ and relatives are also part of this marginalized segment.
Lack of education, knowledge, and awareness can largely be responsible for this tragic situation. By Applying skills I have gained during the 2009 VOF training program and overcoming the barrier of the English language, especially for Arabic-speaking women, circulating knowledge through a chain of women will affect women’s lives, I feel excited to apply for World Pulse Community Board Member for this end. As the saying goes, “a little shrub always grows into a tree”!
I feel that my social background as the first African Muslim woman whose native tongue is Arabic gives me a vantage point from which to contribute to the Board. This includes, but is not limited to, the fact that as a certified correspondent with the Voice of Our Future will help me carry the mission to entire African continent and the over 280 million people in the Arab world.
Five months earlier, I started communicating knowledge to my counterparts. I distributed copies of the training manual to 10 female journalist members of the Sudanese Journalists Association in Saudi Arabia (SUDANJA), of which I am a member and they are currently studying and consulting with me . I have also made a ten-minute presentation on the experience of the World Pulse on citizen journalism in a symposia organized last month here on electronic journalism by SUDANJA.
Coinciding with the celebration of World Women's Day, last march I wrote a post on Sudaneseonline, the largest Sudanese Diaspora discussion board, highlighting the story of the World Pulse with its 4500 audience and experience of globally empowering women and the formation of the VOF. The link below reflects on that:
As a result, many Sudanese have joined World Pulse following this unique and successful move. Kindly consult this link for more details: http://www.worldpulse.com/user/directory?country=38
I plan to use this platform to motivate women step out of restricting traditions that keep them powerless, submissive, abused, lacking self worth and lagging behind.