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As I See, Empowerment!

Sometime ago, a friend asked me “if you had the chance to reincarnate yourself, choosing to be either a man or a woman, what would you be?” Without a moment’s hesitation, I replied, “I’ll remain a woman.”

In my community, it might be easier to be man. You can smoke cigarettes without being called a rascal, you can be forty-five and unmarried and still have respect, you can be unfaithful to your wife without being the most terrible person to have ever lived, and you can sit at a gathering while food is served, without worrying that you might be called to assist because you are a woman.

If you are a man, you could be sure that if your wife died, no one would ever ask you to explain how much money and property your wife had, nor would they try to take it away from you. You could, freely, marry a second wife or get a child out of wedlock if you wife were childless. You would be free to get all the education you wanted in the world without worrying that no one would marry you because you were too educated. You would not fear that no one would ask your hand in marriage, that which women are taught to want more than anything in this society as it brings protection and respect, because you would do all the asking. You could pour all your strength into your career knowing you would never be forced to cut back on your working hours, because you got pregnant and had a baby; the woman’s career can suffer and, by the way, you make enough money for her to stop working altogether.

Yes, it would be advisable to be born a man.

So why do I want to stay a woman? I don’t know. Perhaps because I know I am not a lesser human being now. Perhaps, I know that I can do anything I want to do and being a man has nothing to do with it. Perhaps because I refuse to live in imaginary fences built by condescending and narrow-minded people. Perhaps because it is easier for me to express myself and my ideas without fear of bodily harm. Perhaps because words do not hurt as much knives.
For there are women in other parts of Cameroon and the world are not so lucky and often pay dearly, sometimes with their lives, for thinking differently. This is why we continue to fight for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is why we shout it however way we can that, be you man or woman, boy or girl, you have the power to be whatever you want to be. This is why we shout this message loud enough to silence those who would have us shut up!

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Shout it out loud!

Ada,

Yes sister! Say it loud and proud. I often think to myself, "wouldn't it be easier if I were a man?" But like you, I would never choose to change my gender despite inequalities I may face. Granted, I live in the United States and the gender inequalities here are small compared to atrocities some of our PulseWire sisters face in our parts of the world. When I hear of the systemized rape in war-torn regions like the Congo, female genital mutilation in Sudan, young girls living as sex slaves in India or Cambodia... the list goes on... I wonder if these women consider such a quandary. But as you say - these women are the reason we must continue to fight for an end to gender based violence and gender inequality. Because no human - woman or man - should be punished for their gender.

Hugs,
Jade

Nelly2.0's picture

Amen Sister!

Hi Jade,

I am so grateful to have this space to express myself freely. PulseWire has helped me find my voice and I know that it has helped many others too. Everyday I see people joining the movement and as word spreads, I know that several lives are brightened in so many ways. In the process, those things which people would want to keep hidden will be exposed.

love,
Ada

mich1217's picture

Say it loud!

Thanks Ada- You are so right. It is easier to be a man- they say it is a man's world after all. However, when I think about it, the things that are most important to me, the moments and achievements in my life that really stand out, are those which I had to work hard at. Those things that I earned by overcoming obstacles and facing challenges are the ones that I am most proud of. I believe the same applies to being a woman. We have to work harder to achieve the same things that for a man are easier- be it recognition, or a job, or an education, or ______ (fill in the blank). Anything that is worth having or achieving never comes easy. That struggle, that striving, that toiling is what makes being a woman that much more rewarding. No it is not easy, and sometimes I do think how nice it would be to not struggle as much, but then I think, victory would not taste as sweet if my dreams were handed to me or my goals were my birthright. Keep on shouting at the top of your lungs!

Much love,
Michelle

Nelly2.0's picture

So true

Hi Michelle,

it is very true that we treasure the things we work hard for more than those that fall at our feet, which we do not deserve. When you work hard for something, the feeling you get at the successful completion is just wonderful.

I will shout as loud as I can

hugs,
Ada

Khushbu's picture

I Join

Dear Ada

This is such a wonderful post....Even in my country, it would have been easier to be born a man, but I still want to be born a woman in any incarnations whatsoever. It is so much joy being a woman, and I am proud of my existence, despite what people have to say. Questions have been raised everything i chose to do something revolutionary (at least in my community), but i have decided nothing to deter me in what i am striving for...When I read stories from around the world, my faith in womanhood gets stronger, and i consider it a blessing to be born as a woman...

Thank you for making my faith stronger today:)

Love
Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

Nelly2.0's picture

Thank You!

Hi Khushbu,

I am happy to have made your faith stronger, through the Pulse. We encourage each other, so that each day we can break all chains that keep women bound all over the world. Together we shout!

Hugs,
Ada

pooza11's picture

amazing !

Hey Nelly,
You have written this in such a beautiful manner that I am constantly reading it.Yes, it feels so proud to be women no matter what. and no matter I will choose to be a women in all my lifetime.Reading thoughts suck as this makes me feel stronger and proud every day. It gives me a sense of relief and satisfaction of being born as women.

Please do write some more inspiring stories. looking forward to ear more from you.
pooza

Nelly2.0's picture

Kind words, Kind heart

Hi Pooza,

thank you so much for your kind words, it shows that is coming from a very kind heart. I am glad you got relief and satisfatcion after reading this posting. It is my prayer that I should help as many women as I can all over the world. Welcome to the Pulse, together we shall spread the message of gender equality and women's empowerment.

Love,
Ada

Nusrat Ara's picture

Such a wonderful an beautiful

Such a wonderful an beautiful post.

I am shouting out there with you.

Love

Nusrat

Nelly2.0's picture

Louder

Together we shout for a better tomorrow for women all over the world!

Hugs

BushraS's picture

Deja Vu

I live in a different country, on a different continent with (one would assume) a very different culture. But reading your post was like reading about the situation for women in Pakistan. I remember when I was in 6th grade, during one of our "English speaking" sessions, our teacher asked all of us that if we had a choice to be whoever we wanted when we grew up (if!) who/what would we choose to be. When it was my turn, I got up and said I would choose to be a man. Your post explains why.

I've come a long way from that comment and mindset. I embrace my sex and gender with open arms because I know the answer is not to wish you were someone else. The answer is to strive and ensure you -- and those who follow you -- have all the opportunities and options that "someone else" has.

In solidarity. X

Nelly2.0's picture

Together

thanks for your comment. I notice the teacher using the word 'if', not asking you what or who you wanted to be when you grew up.

Just like you said you have come a long way from wanting to be a man, so has the struggle for gender equality improved in some areas. However, we still have a long way to go and we - just like you say - strive to ensure that everyone has equal opportunites, whether male or female.

Ada,

Edithlum's picture

Created for a purpose!

Ada,
If God created me as a woman for the mere purpose of swelling the female crowd it is reason enough. If i had the choice to choose my sex in case of reincarnation i would want to remain a woman not because i hate men but because i just love being this creature that is a blend of sweetness and bitterness. The woman is a dynamic creature surrounded by a lot of mystery!

Edithlum

Nelly2.0's picture

Truly Beautiful

The woman is truly a fascinating creature,beautiful in countless ways and using your word - dynamic. We do not hate men, we just want to be respected and treated like equals. Men and woman have differences but none that make one group superior to the other. We are human beings, plain and simple, and we should be treated as such.

Hugs

gunu_k's picture

belief is everything

I always say to myself that belief in the strength of women is everything. So I continuously read about women who have fought for or said something in support of this basic belief. I congratulate you for being a co-believer and my strength increases from knowing that we are both together in the same forum.

Subhadra Khaperde
India

Nelly2.0's picture

We Must Believe

You are right, believe is everything. I am happy to have inspired you in what ever little way because your strength is a direct inspiration to the many women you work with everyday in your life.

shakila's picture

hi

dear sister !

Your writing has inspired me a lot; yes no matter we are women we know how valuable we are. We are no more less than a man .in today’s world we can do anything that we want, besides having so many conflicts and pains.

To be very honest I am proud and happy to be a women .yes, I also faced problems in my life, but I managed everything and never lose my hope. We are the best <3

prayers+luv,

shakila

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