Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Procrastinating will not get you anywhere

For the majority of women living in a developing country, including mine, the older a single woman gets, the more her family and society pressure her to get married and start a family. In some societies, girls are betrothed to be married when they're a mere child, some are forced into arranged marriages, others can be deemed 'un-marriable' or it is assumed that something is wrong with a woman if she hasn't been able to find a husband at a fairly young age. The degree of the ways women are pressured to 'do their duty' and nurture a family varies from society to society and from individual to individual. And although I frown on such gender based biases and pressure, I was a little shocked to find myself falling victim to such pressure despite my strong feminist nature. Of course my family is concerned that I'm too career driven and that I'll forget to get married and have children, but I was surprised to find myself getting some what depressed on this issue as my 28th birthday was approaching.

Anyway, this story is not about how I feel pressured to get married but about what led me to the World Pulse online community and encouraged me to apply to Voices of Our Future, and that was my realization that I was annoying myself with procrastination. I do want to get married one day and have kids, but there is many other things I would like to do and as my 28th birthday was approaching, I found myself in deep thought as to what I really wanted in life and how I should go about getting it.

One of my biggest passions is peacebuilding through the active participation of youth and the promotion of youth citizenship. My initiatives to reach these ends depend heavily on the Internet. Taking advantage of the outreach made possible by the internet, and Web 2.0 in particular, fits into my personal vision but I only know this through personal experience. In other words, I have never received any semi-professional training or read a book on how to best take advantage of Web 2.0 to network among young peacebuilders to bring about peace, particularly within my sub-region the Horn of Africa.

Another one of my biggest passions is writing, but as my 28th birthday was approaching, I found myself annoyed with my constant procrastination in realizing this dream. I'm always writing, whether it's a report or protocol agreement or an email, but I'm never investing my time to write for pleasure. I had to make a birthday resolution to keep on writing to develop myself into the writer I aspire to be, but like most birthday resolutions that I've made in the past (including writing in a journal every day), I find it very hard to keep them. That's when I discovered World Pulse.

I was intrigued by the vision and values of WorldPulse, and it's goal to use Web 2.0 to bring solutions to the global women's empowerment movement. I've used the terms active youth and women citizenship many times, but I've never heard of citizen journalism. I've participated in social networking and email lists before, but I have yet to fully realize the opportunities provided by new media in peacebuilding and women's empowerment. So coming across World Pulse and Voices of Our Future, I felt inspired to apply because I could immediately see how being part of such an online community would not only empower me more in my peacebuilding initiatives but also get me to stop procrastinating with my dreams. What's more is that I know that the World Pulse experience is not one that leaves me standing alone. I've already met and been encouraged by women that I've never actually met in real life before, but are still very supportive of me. Not only is World Pulse an incentive for me to stop procrastinating, but it is also a community that supports me to go for my dreams.


IvanaG's picture

Dear Rahel,

I loved your post!! It was like me reading my own thoughts; felt like I have someone so similar to me but at the other part of the world. I can understand everything you said, starting from the pressure by people to get married, to career aspirations and the all-life ambition to write but procrastinating it and feeling bad about it. World Pulse and VOF inspired me in the same way and I hope you will find the willingness and motivation to write for pleasure, because God knows I can understand how it feels.

Keep going!
Ivana Galapceva

Emie Zozobrado's picture


Hi girls! It's perfectly okey if you are single - in any age! One unmarried woman named Elizabeth led England to its "Golden Age" .... Gone are the days when orphans and widows compose the harems of men (the likes of Solomon and David) ... all because the women then cannot even fend for themselves!!!! Now, we share the men's conquest of the world because we are meant to be their equals!

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Rahel! I too felt connected

Rahel! I too felt connected to your words and feelings, procrastination is a b*tch! a teacher told me once that you should do something every day, for little it seems to reach were you aim to be in the future.

Hope we all do that little everyday!

In lake'ch

Rahel Weldeab's picture

Thanks for the support!

It feels great knowing that other women can relate to my situation/story. It's not so much about being single, but just choosing a certain path, as a woman, that might be considered out of the norm, or against tradition. And I think writing is a way for us to not only persevere as individuals but also to break down the gender-based norms that might work against our aspirations.

Again, thank you for all of the support!!

JessiSchimmel's picture

Pieces of a puzzle

Hi Rahel,

It sounds like you have a lot of great ideas and motivation. I'd love to hear more about your youth citizenship work and how you utilize Web 2.0 to that end. I'm glad that World Pulse is giving you motivation and structure, but I'd like to hear more about what you plan to do with those.

How will you effect change in youth citizenship and womens' empowerment as a citizen journalist?


I don't want to come off sounding too optimistic, but I swear the idea of utilizing Web 2.0 and becoming a citizen journalist has inspired me to restructure my whole approach when it comes to networking for youth citizenship. I happen to lead quite a few initiatives, and World Pulse has inspired me to revise all of these initiatives so that they become more interactive and inspirational. Recently, I've participated in a workshop on networking for development. Having learned some things at the workshop, and being inspired by the Pulse Wire initiative, I've opened my eyes to new possibilities, possibilities that can allow me to increase the impact of my work.

Being a passionate advocate for peacebuilding, sustainable development, womens' empowerment and youth citizenship, I want to inspire other young people through my writing. I'm taking action to the best of my ability, but I can't bring change all by myself... I want to get even more young people to take action as well, and by being a citizen journalists, I know I'll be able to!

olakitike's picture

All the best Rahel

I really hope that you will maximize this experience and learn to overcome procrastination as a result.
Love Ayobami

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative