As a young woman growing up in Somalia, I have always found it troubling that some people were given advantages and others were denied advantages due to their color or class. I could never absolutely agree that because someone was few shades darker, they were somehow uglier. This view, which was held by way too large of a majority, led many women to bleach their skin so they could become lighter.
Furthermore, most men acted like they could never be told what to do but girls must listen to what everyone tells them to do. When I was really young, I gave men that authority because I was raised that way and it never occurred to me that it wasn’t right. But as I grew older and began to understand the consequences of the different treatment, I began to resent it. However, these feelings of mine were not very welcomed in our culture so I began to think maybe this is how it was supposed to be until I came to the United States.
In the US I learned to have a voice and express that voice. As a naturally shy person, I was never really outspoken so I began to write my thoughts and ideas. Since I started college, I have started to seek out non-profit organizations that were international and found that it wasn’t really interesting to read stories about what is going on in other countries because it felt like I was just reading the news and the news is filled with mostly depressing stories. I wanted to find more of a real connection, a place where I could ask people’s personal stories and I could tell them mine. Then a few months ago, I accidently found Pulse Wire while searching through Facebook. I do not recall exactly what I was searching for but I remember signing up for this website. I immediately felt a great need to be a part of this community because it was exactly what I had been searching for. I started to read through the stories and was absolutely intrigued by the raw and inspiring voices of women all around the world.
After I joined, I began to write much more and for the first time posted my writings for people to read. I had never published anything I’d written (outside school papers) because it always felt too personal. However, reading the stories of women from rural towns as well as women from huge cities, I decided this was the right audience. My personal vision is gaining equality for everyone on the basis of being a human being. This journey has helped me understand and strengthen my views. It has also helped me find people who are as passionate about human rights and social change as I am which I am forever grateful for. Voices of Our Future gives me the opportunity to be able to put into words what I feel is important which is inspiring on its own.