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Challenges and barrier to change

My communiy is called Rukuba,located in Plateau state,North Central Nigeria.It is an agrarian community,though limited by its rocky topography.The cmmunity depends largely on dry season farming of vegetables mostly done by women.
My challenges in creating change in my community is the culture that deprives he woman education,promotes early marriage and lowers self esteem.
The woman is seen as a 'baby machine' just to reproduce,'husband sitter' to care for the total needs of her husband,just like she would her baby or even more.This has caused the low self esteem in the woman.She sees herself as just an 'appendage'to her husband..tagging along,literally taking a breathe only when she is asked to.But come to think of it,does she even know better ?Afterall their mothers never saw anything wrong with it.
The women have no economic nor political power.Despite the fact that women plough the land and harvest ,they have no control in the selling of the farm produce.The men do the selling and they are under no obligation to use the resources for the upkeep of the family.The women would have to source other means to cater for the family..the man inclusive.
Politically,women that venture into politics are tagged wayward,prostitutes,harlots.it is an uphill task for women in my community to be active politicians.Even to vote is a problem because the women have no right to vote for candidates of their choice...the men decide and they follow.Some years back i mobilized women in my community to vote a female councillor.we were successful,but,some women were beaten up by their husbands and sent packing.They women were perceived as rebellious and disrespectful.
Economically,we tried raising funds to assist the women buy farm inputs, so that they can buy farm inputs and not depend on heir husbands.I realised they still had low esteem,so,i added lessons on values,improving self esteem and self actualisation.There has been some improvement in that regard.But more needs to be done to improve their self esteem without having them called 'rebellious'.
With pulsewire ,i hope to post challenges facing my community with a view to finding interventions.I am at the moment reading stories from other communities to find those with similar challenges.I also intend to tell my community about pulsewire and even get some of them register.i will do the translation and posting.
Pulsewire,to the grassroot we go!!!

Comments

jbaljko's picture

Yes, these are big challenges

Hi,
Overcoming these embedded cultural challenges surely will not be an easy feat, but you are taking a bold step in putting more power into the hands of women. You are giving these "rebellious" women a voice and helping to shift traditional ways of thinking. Please let me know when others in your community are on Pulsewire. I would love to read their stories as well.
Keep doing what you're doing!
Jenn

"The secret of happiness is freedom,
and the secret of freedom, courage."
-Thucydides, ancient Greek historian & author

jam_them's picture

challenges and barriers to change

Thanks Jenn.I am working hard on getting the women on pulsewire.On one of my interventions on family planning/child spacing,the women told me that they would like to take a rest from child birth,but,i have to discuss it with their husbands.They cannot use any form of contraceptives,because they will be tagged prostitutes.This means they dont have reproductive rights.When the woman is worn out ,the man gets another one 'fresh blood.'The man tells the woman he is bringing her a 'helper'..that is if she even knows.
Can you imagine this?

Together our future is bright

jbaljko's picture

can't imagine this

Hi,
No, I can't imagine this. It never ceases to amaze me how women are treated around the world, and how little control they have over their bodies. I hope they find the courage to speak up for these rights. Thanks you for helping them find their voice. You're an inspiration.
Jenn

"The secret of happiness is freedom,
and the secret of freedom, courage."
-Thucydides, ancient Greek historian & author

Carri Pence's picture

Amazing!!!

Though you represent the women in the rural community in Nigeria you are truly an inspiration to us all. Living in one of the bigger cities in the US, I felt touched by your words and how society defines me causes most of my insecurities as well. Once women feel confident they are much more likely to promote their ideas and beliefs, leading to a progressive march of change. I am so happy that you placed importance on they psychological effects that causes women not to be able to stand up for what she beliefs in, because so many times we ignore just that.

-Carri Pence

jam_them's picture

self-esteem

My dear sister Carri
Many atimes we are just blinded by the need to just economically empower women.That's not a bad idea,but ,we tend to forget that no matter what we give to women,if their self esteem is low, the posibility of achieving the change we so desire is a mirage.
Women in my community are not that poor.They need a 'rebirth' where they are made to realise their potential and harnessing it for their development.They should see themselves as partners in progress with men.They can also contribute their quarter to development.Afterall ,that's why God created us along side the men to be a help mate...not a servant.

Together our future is bright

Mirchii's picture

Patriarchy

Hey there,

Sometimes I simply cannot believe the height of patriarchy in some places. I am dumbstruck by your descriptions of conditions that women in your community have to face. I can only hope and pray that you and other women like you continue to bring about slow yet steady changes for the betterment of these poor souls. For everything that you have done, I commend you. Keep up the good work!

Love and peace,
Mirchii

jam_them's picture

Patriarchy

thanks for your comment.There is great need to let women in my community know that the world goes beyond their immediate environment.There is yet another world out there that gives women equal opportunities for development.There are women out there with voices that can be heard.

Together our future is bright

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