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No matter how hard the challenge is, giving up is not an option.

Talking about barriers, the first thing that comes to my mind is a little experience I had few years ago. I was 24. I had a good job, I will not say well paid but secured. As our house was a little bit far from my office and I spent hours in buses and traffic, I thought of renting a little appartment nearer and starting to learn to live by my own. I tell you, it was so hard to try to convince my family including aunts, uncles, cousins and grand parents. For all of them, according to Malagasy culture, it would be odd to see a young unmarried girl living alone.

I am not against culture and traditions but some of them are so barbarians. These barbarian ideas brought by traditions are the barriers to women emancipation in Madagascar. For those who read my article about gender equality would remember the story of a man who did not want to clean his baby, believing that this was a woman duty. I have another example. My sister had just given birth under caesarian. Her husband, working in a family business was obliged by his father to come back to work, leaving my sister and the baby alone home as soon as they left the hospital. My brother in law's father then said that giving birth and taking care of the baby are just female matters.

The challenge is hard since people are not ready lo leave their "belief" and habits. It is hard because people do not like to be told that they were wrong. It is hard because people do not want to break the rules of the society in order to be respected. It is hard because even most of women accept the situation.

No matter how hard the challenge is, giving up is not an option. Two little things I could do until now to bring change within my community were through my teaching and through the articles I wrote in a local newspaper and on my blogs. They may not have great impact but I cannot wait to start. I prefer using the humble means I have.

Thanks to communities like Pulse Wire, women are awaken and strengthened, where women feel involved. Yet, I am sorry to tell this but the challenge is also to bring these women to Pulse Wire, even before that, to internet. How many Malagasy women are we in Madagascar? How many of us are on Pulse Wire? Access to internet should be eased and more trainings about its use should be given while sensitizing them to share their voice on Pulse Wire for example in order to give them reason to use internet.

Comments

Eliana's picture

thank you, Ariniaina, your

thank you, Ariniaina,
your post was a brief but current picture of the situation of young women in your country. But I was more positively touched by your personal effort to better the situation of these women through 2 key issues: Education, Information.
These are the keys that help open the doors and give access to women. Thank you for the work you are doing. You are not alone because all over the world many women start doing little changes, step by step. But was not built in a day either. So keep on going!
Peace to you
Eliana

Eliana

ariniaina's picture

Thanks

Hi Eliana,

Your comment is sincerely touching me. I know I'm not alone because of all of you my friends and sisters on Pulse Wire. I thank you for the encouragement and the support. My wish for you: keep up the good work!

Cheers,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

Eliana's picture

Thank you, Arinianina, your

Thank you, Arinianina,
your work is inspiration to all of us and for me in particular. Keep on doing it. My wish is that even after the Voices of the Future 2010 all the women present on the site will set up a constructive, helpful and positive path without falling back into anonimity.
Peace to you
Eliana

Eliana

ariniaina's picture

No, what we're doing is not

No, what we're doing is not only for VOF but for a real change and a whole life. Am I wrong? I hope not.

Thank you Elina, what you said empowers me. I hope I can do it to you in return.

Cheers,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

Eliana's picture

Dear Ariniaina, You are

Dear Ariniaina,
You are always an enrichment to me and a good example for taking action that I truely admire. I hope we will stay in touch and keep on sharing experiences and interacting like we do now and from my side I will surely continue to keep in touch with you and with all the women I befriended with.
Thank you
Have a peaceful and positive day
Peace to you
Eliana

Eliana

Leina's picture

Dear ari,after reading your

Dear ari,after reading your post,I understand tradition is an enemy to women in almost all parts of the world.There`s hope with women like you.

ariniaina's picture

Thanks

Hi Leina,

Well, I'll say... there's hope with women like US dear.

Best,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

Fungai Machirori's picture

You are so right!

These are exactly my thoughts, but with a Zimbabwean context. Sigh - the Internet is still an elitist machine. What to do!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

ariniaina's picture

Thanks

Hi Fungai,

I hope some day more women in our countries can have access to internet. I agree with you; until then we are here, we have our voice to be heard. Can't we be their voices too?

I wish you good luck with all the things you do.

Cheers,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

Frances Faulkner's picture

Changing cultural beliefs

Ariniaina,

Thank you for showing us how difficult it is to change cultural beliefs. I hope that your experience with the local newspaper and online communities will inspire women to challenge those beliefs and fight for equality with men.

Best,
Frances

ariniaina's picture

Thanks

Thank you Frances.

Best,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

lydia's picture

Searching for Solutions

Hello Ariniaina,
Creating more opportunities and access to computers—along with training programs in how to use the Internet and Web 2.0—in your community (and across the world) is indeed a great way for women to share their frustrations and constraints about culture and to collectively search for solutions. I’m curious: In your community, how do you see these training programs coming about? Are there things you can do through Web 2.0 to reach women who are not currently using the Internet? Another PulseWire user had the idea to ask her company if she could hold training programs for women new to the Internet at her workstation after the workday had finished. Her company obliged and even let her use three computers to train several women. For just a few hours a week, this woman was able to train eight more women in basic computer usage and introduced them to the amazing amount of information (and power) that is out there. The more we share our ideas, solutions, successes, failures and triumphs on PulseWire, the closer we will get to solving problems in our own communities and the world beyond!
Best,
Lydia

ariniaina's picture

Thanks

Hi Lydia,

Thanks a lot for your comment and for having shared the experience of one of our friends on Pulse Wire. Well, I must sincerely think of how I can help my community. This case may not be possible for me but I believe there are others things that we can do.

Best,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

Vega Tom's picture

Hello to women of madagascar

HI Ariniaina -
It is really neat to hear from a women from Madagascar, having traveled there many years ago as a single woman - I feel your pain! I think that for many women in Africa the struggle to bridge the private and public spheres is a real struggle, but one that seems to be easing over time. I think your example of your sisters experience with her giving birth touches on another issue, that change for women also entails change for men. They need to be empowered to be able to share in the lives of women, as women are empowered to take their roles in a different way in the public sphere.
I really enjoyed your story and your style. Thank you for sharing and keep up the fight.
Vega

ariniaina's picture

Thanks

Hi Vega,

I am happy to hear you've been here in Madagascar.

Many thanks.

Cheers,

Ariniaina

Thanks for visiting my blog http://ariniaina.wordpress.com

Vega Tom's picture

Madagascar

Yes, Madagascar was one of the most beautiful, and intense, places I have ever visited. A very, very unique place. I commend you for being an independent woman and thinker. Keep it up! Hopefully the gender culture there will catch up with you.
Vega

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