ASSIGNMENT 2 -WORLD COMMUNITY
My personal journey has been strewn with numerous hurdles, moments of joy and sadness, long periods of loneliness and struggle. Spending about seventeen years with an alcoholic spouse followed by his demise brought me from my dream world to the bleak reality, to the realization that a woman’s life is a long journey of constant struggle – struggle to survive, to overcome the social prejudices, to make ends meet, to put up with psychological humiliation etc..
Circumstances in my life forced a change in my entire personality, as I had to be strong enough to cope in an egotistical society and cater for the upbringing of my children, while protecting them from social ills. Every trauma and strain which I underwent increased my sense of solidarity and sympathy towards other women and children who suffered similar or more bitter situations. I developed compassion and concern for other women and was willing to use my own experience to give them courage and fortitude as well as guidance to overcome their difficulties.
I had the opportunity to serve in the Ministry responsible for women and children and witness many traumatic cases of oppression, abuse and exploitation of women and children. I worked with a team of nongovernmental organizations, community based organizations to develop networks to support women and children, specially female children who are subjected to all types of abuse. I participated in the setting up of a shelter for women and children in distress and developed a social networking with women who are active in voluntary service to the community. I have been involved in the establishment of a child watch network with the support of non governmental organizations to identify children at risk and support them. I took part in developing and implementing a programme to reintegrate retrenched women workers in the labour market and to provide assistance to them to set up their own enterprises. I have actively participated in the development of programmes for the migrant workers mainly female workers and to address their specific problems. I have equally supported the development of training and education programmes for women workers to prevent their exploitation at the workplace and to ensure that their needs are addressed.
The social networking is an important tool in promoting the voices of women, in understanding the concerns of women and sharing experiences. When I discovered the Voices of our Future Network, I was amazed by the amount of information being transmitted through the network. In fact, it is a constructive forum for sharing our experiences and learning from each other. This is a real sisterhood. I consider that this forum meets my own objectives as I have here the opportunity to form part of a world community and feel encouraged to continue with my own efforts to promote the interests of women.