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RECLAIMING MY DIGNITY

In most African cultures, marriage is an extended family, and communal affair. Upon marriage, you are absorbed into a network of new relations, each with their idea of what you should be within the new family. Such are the myriad expectations that weigh down many a woman, and create the right environment for abuse to occur.

In the unfortunate event of break up in marriage, the trauma on a woman is doubled; she has to deal with the loss of a personal relationship, and the judgment of clan members. The patriarchal nature of society colludes to ensure that women walk away with nothing, though they could have spent most of their years in the union working too. If in some cultures, marriage is thought to be a tool of disempowerment, then the dissolution of a marriage in such a culture is utter chaos.

Such is what happened to me at an early age. My journey to world pulse began during those dark moments when I was trying to rebuild my life and fight for my rights to dignity and self determination, which are often denied to many women.

I was able to rebuild my life, and in the course of doing that, I realized that there are many women in need of assistance in putting their lives back on track. My experiences led me to increased awareness on the plight of women, and especially on what could go wrong. I got inspired to start an organization working with girls and women, with a view to sharing information that is necessary for their empowerment. I am blessed to be at a point where I have overcome the major challenges, and where I serve as a role model for many young women.

A few years ago, I was introduced to the world Pulse concept by a friend from Portland, Oregon, who interacted with my work. I filed World pulse at the back of my mind, and this year, I have felt that it is time to expand my audience and reach out to other women, who are not in my country, or my locality, but who nevertheless have shared or are sharing the many challenges towards achieving self determination.

Comments

Carri Pence's picture

I love how you define

I love how you define yourself for who you are and not through marriage. Where, sadly, even in the United States, so many women define themselves as a 'wife' or through their husband. Thus, as you wonderfully stated, when a marriage does end up in a divorce not only does society gives women a lack of value, the women alone loses her own value, due to how she defined her life. Thus, your voice is very important on PulseWire, where you value yourself and other women who feel weak after the break up. You are a women of support and courage, and I am honored to have read your

-Carri Pence

Zippy's picture

Thank you Carri

Carri,

Thank you for your encouraging words and your feedback. I am already liking the whole idea of being on pulse wire. Reading other peoples articles is an eye opener, and we find that we share a lot in common. For example, from your reply, it seems like the whole idea of women defining themselves through marriage is not only limited to my culture.

We can blame it all on socialization. ..I think most girls are trained to aspire to be good wives. It is not uncommon to ask a woman what she is doing, and she will tell you that she is married. Marriage is almost like a career!

You can therefore begin to understand how women feel lost when they find that the mathematics doesnt add up. I mean, you are supposed to do all these sets of nice things, and your husband is supposed to reciprocate. But sadly, that is not always the case. What happens then with all the training you received

It is important that we have identity on our own, so that we don't view ourselves as halves seeking for completion in a union, but rather as whole people who have a lot to contribute to a union.

And it is a long conscious journey.....But we are strong women, and can support each other:-)

"A human is a human because of other humans"

Mila's picture

Feedback on Assignment 2

Hi Zippy,

Thank you for sharing your personal journey and vision with us. I appreciated your introduction as it really draws the reader into the writing. You had a great description of your personal journey. I am very proud of how you put the negative experience in your life to use in a positive way by helping out other women.

It is great to have you as a part of the World Pulse community.

Best,
Mila

akaneko's picture

Thank you for joining

Thank you for joining PulseWire and for giving us the opportunity to hear your story! Your post is the perfect example of why PulseWire is so powerful and how your voice is capable of using this tool to empower other women through education and understanding. By sharing your story, women all over the world have the chance to identify their struggles with those of other women and find support and the strength to stand up for their rights.

I think that all of the women in this online community have a personal journey that lead them here and your story adds to this chorus of voices that acts as a catalyst towards change for the better. Your entry is an example of the strength and courage that will inspire others to act - thank you for sharing!

Best wishes,

Alison

Zippy's picture

Mila and Alison, Thank you

Mila and Alison,
Thank you for your comments. I have come to realize that by speaking of our own experiences, we encourage others around us. Many times we think that we may be the only ones going through a rough patch, or something like that, but when we speak, we inspire those that have suffered like us, and give hope to those who may encounter the same problems, because through our stories, they know that they will make it.

It is good meeting you here, and I look forward to enhanced sisterhood:-)

"A human is a human because of other humans"

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