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.