I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference.
I picked up the advert for Voices of Our Future from the website for the Association for Women in Development (AWID). To be really honest, I was a little sceptical at first. Should I really tell all the world what was really going on in my head? That’s what Facebook is for right? At least I know who my ‘friends’ are on FB...
Well, not really. Turns out I have more in un-common than common with ‘friends’ on FB. There I was, speaking out loud almost on a daily basis on women, God, religion, injustice, inequality, femininity, masculinity, etc and scandalously (to most) challenging accepted norms and customs in my society and culture. And yet, I failed to make people act. I was just another voice.
And then a colleague at work mentioned the VOF advert to me and said she thought I would be a likely candidate. Well, here I am now!
I think I was born to communicate. I sometimes wonder what else I’d do if I wasn’t communicating. I would probably let my ego run my mind, get the better of me. I’d probably sit back, relax and lay waiting in in-action. Like that would do a world of good. There’s greater good to be had. If only we could all just – communicate. If only we would all forget about our differences, be it gender, colour, creed or size, what an enormous impact we would all make. This is my vision stemming from an intensely personal journey.
For me, VOF does not just make an enormous impact. It IS the change we need to see in the world. And the women who communicate through the VOF platform - they ARE the changes we are beginning to see in our families, communities and world. Positive changes: they are happening right now. The voices are rising. We would all be fools to ignore the sound.
It’s true that for the longest time, women have been forced to fit into the status quo. Women have been told by parents, teachers, leaders and others that they must conform. It’s also true that men have been asked to conform too. Women must maintain their modesty, purity, serenity, patience and maternity. Men must be aggressive, strong, loyal, responsible and hardworking. It’s a tough world for both women and men. Who wouldn’t boil under such pressure? Who wouldn’t want to retreat? But mostly, who wouldn’t want to fight against all that?
As a woman, technology to me has been a miracle. To think that all the world’s wounds can be laid out bare, cleaned and healed on a myriad of platforms on virtual space is a significant leap in the direction of greater good. For me, VOF is the ideal tool to create that ideal world of peace, love, solidarity we have stuck in our heads. That world can be a reality. We only have to communicate. Just say what we need to say. Say what we mean to say.
“Anyone who asks to be illuminated now,
Will be made a torch to light up the World.”