Fear: another brick in the wall(s)
My city, Recife, was pointed in a research some years ago as the most dangerous in Brazil. This unfortunately reflects how my community is immersed in a routine of violence and vulnerability. The risk of being aggressed or raped lingers as a constant presence in our minds and we need to shape our lifestyle considering such possibilities.
Therefore, I would say that the violence itself is one of the main barriers to creating change. But it becomes even more difficult to create a positive impact in my community because of one of violence's effects: fear. People are afraid of each other, and, this way, isolating ourselves from one another. This attitude blocks many attempts of cooperation, solidarity and sympathy among fellow citizens and consolidates a cycle of exclusion.
We do have reasons to be afraid. But if this process goes on, the exclusion will become deeper into people's minds. I wonder until when are we going to struggle for survival simply by building higher walls around our homes, instead of trying to reverse the process that causes all these outrages.
Of course, reversing the process would demand a lot of hard work. And this leads us to another of the main barriers to produce change in my community: lack of time. In modern life, the rythm we tend to lead is often very stressful. Most of the people I know are unsatisfied with the social situation in my country, but, very often, people simply don't have time to think about these issues in more depth or, what is even more tragic, many don't spare time to participate politically in the democratic process.
I believe the only way of eliminating these barriers is raising awareness and fostering people's interest on these subjects. The more we become convinced that something is wrong within the organization of our community and, mainly, that these wrong points are changeable, the more we are compelled to do something about it.
My present solution for all that is to speak up. In the last years, I've grabbed all the opportunities I could to make my message heard and to stimulate dialogue about the change we want to see in our world. Locally, I've taken part in youth councils in local newspapers and I've organized debates in my university. Globally, I've attended to conferences on social exclusion, poverty, women's rights and gender equality.
One of the most relevant strategies I've found was using Web 2.0 as a platform to speak. My blog, related to the G(irls) 20 Summit, has helped me a lot in sharing my experiences regarding women's issues and raising awareness among my friends, NGOs, activists and government agents worldwide.
Because of that, I see PulseWire as a very powerful tool for me to reach these same goals. But now I believe it will be possible to reach even more people, for we are connected in this same online community. Therefore, I am very optimistic that the outcomes for my activism will be even more concrete and relevant.