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Come let us reason together

Over and over I have yearned to be a real woman. The vision to reason together with the rest of the women around the world is my daily meditation. Remember, although we have the same voice, our stories are different.
There are women with stories based on personal experience, some just hear and then tell out, some see and also tell out but, how much has it taken one to discover why there is overwhelming women outcry or why our voices have time and over been ignored?
Recently we sat in one of our women group in the district of Jinja and we discussed some of the barriers that limit us from being attended to or heard and these include;
• Misconception: Society tend to refer to women as subordinates right from our homes, place of work and even Church or Mosque. So we are racked as a second thought.
• Problematic: Our nature of being humble tends to cause society to analyze us as being fearful. That we can easily be compromised
• Coward; that we fear to get involved in issues that tend to have risks.
• Lazy. That we cannot act fast which tend to cause backwardness and also to lose out on the dot com world.
• Culture; in Africa traditional setting, we women are not supposed to talk in public. So most of us grown under that mood. Therefore convincing to adopt the required standards is a menace.
In fact thank you pulse wire because we normally share stories posted amongst ourselves. This has indeed helped us and the above barriers are being eliminated using the methodology of awareness.
We have so far embarked on awareness campaign to know our rights and how much we can positively contribute to the society.
We look at economic, social and political spheres.
For example we identified the most vulnerable women by creating hope. We now engage them in activities of income generating, counseling, health care, and education. We have a vibrant group of Female Refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Cong who are settled at Nabulagala suburb in Kampala. Issues of trauma, sexual harassment, drug abuse, child abuse are being handled. We have introduced the girl child education, Adult literacy as well as music, dance and drama. Indeed this has attracted attention to leaders to brow a leaf.
So being a voice of the pulse correspondence will be a great deal. I believe we shall be able to share experiences and fill the gaps that have exposed us (women) to risks. Infact did you know that the high rates of HIV/AIDS privelance among the women is caused due to lack of sharing or no where to disclose our voices. Therefore many of us suffer or even die silently.
My objective is therefore to stand out and create a lasting generation of women

Comments

carsongitau's picture

The Agreement

As two cannot walk together unless they have an appointment,women cannot solve the issues affecting them unless they come and reason together and raise one voice.I MUST say i really admire the way you have articulated the issues in this journal.Keep up the good work!!

carsongitau
Empowered Woman

Manvitha's picture

Nice post!

Hello Grace,

It was really wonderful to read your blog post. I quite like the way you have articulated your ideas...it is a powerful note and teaches us many things, while at the same time, prods us to think in a direction of comprehensive solutions.

Good luck with your work and hope to read more in the future!

Best,

Manvitha.

kati.mayfield's picture

stand out

Hi Grace, I like the list you have created, and the way you reason through the misconceptions about women. You are right that we must "stand out and create a lasting generation of women" so that we do not "suffer or even die silently".

*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

One of Many's picture

Many Thanks

Dear Grace:

Way to go! Your writing demonstrated great ideas and good leadership. I want to know more about what you mean by “a lasting generation of women” – women who survive? Women who create immortality by sharing their stories?

I am super curious about the expression “brow a leaf” because I bet it is your translation of an idiom-- that I regret to say doesn’t make sense to my unrefined ear – and I’d love to learn about it. What a challenge to be learning the writing craft in another language. My hat is off to you! (That is one of our idioms, signifying one’s offering of respect to another.)

I noticed that you only used 476 words, and because your last sentence doesn’t end with a period, I wonder if you were in a hurry and did a “copy and paste” where you didn’t manage to select the whole thing. I admittedly gave you the benefit of that possibilty as one of your ‘listeners‘.

I am so impressed hearing from what you and your “we” have done for refugee women. I know some about the struggles in Burundi, Rwanda and the Republic of the Congo. I read an incredible book – Tracy Kidder’s nonfiction biography – “Strength in What Remains” written in first person – about a man who survived the atrocities you all did – and came to New York with $200 and managed, through persistence, more persistence, a great heart, and excellent intuition, to become a scholar assisting the people of his nation. In an interview, the author said, “He [Deo] wanted to understand what had happened to him, so he studied philosophy,” Kidder said. “Education was a great refuge for him. I think Columbia saved his life. His mind came to rest and he could see things from a distance, in Manichean terms of good and evil.”

What a powerful book. What a powerful group of survivors. You have much to teach us. What is working? What are the barriers? Can you tell what works best to overcome the trauma – or does my notion of “recovery” from such horrific experiences just show my pampered, western naivete and ignorance? Education may have saved Deo – is there a way to incorporate that somehow across a wider group of people?

As you see, your essay prompted much interest from me and many questions. Good luck, Grace!—

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Grace Nakajje's picture

Clarification as asked by Anna

Dear Anna. I have raised eyebrows upon reading your comment on my post "Come let's reason together". First of all your words sound motherly.
Back to the question on Lasting generation, I mean a wave of women with positive impact. Who can leave a legacy where the world will say that yes they (women) made it. Where the girl child will be proud to carry on. Also a wave of women who can stand to say no to world atrocities of torture, sexual violence, child abuse, drug abuse, genital mutilation among others.

On the issue of ending with a period, please it is true the paste method did me bad. infarct the above was what i left out. thanks for that keen observation.

On what is working is first of the unity. we have the same vision or voice of creating positive change in all areas of spiritual, economic and social spheres. The barrier is the, inferiority complex-thinking that we lose out as in the conflict faced in the countries mentioned. By the way these refugees came about due to the civil wars in their countries. Today, there is no peace yet. Some of the women can not even trace where exerctly they came from so even though they went back there is little that they can do.

What works best to over come tramour is "Counselling" this is done through singing. we have composed songs with soothing melodies. infact it is so far the best way to go and many organisations in the area a borrowing the leaf. We have songs in French, English, Kishahi, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi.

Thanks Ann and i pray i have answered the questions

Grace

One of Many's picture

Fantastic

Hi, Grace--

Dang! I am indeed a mother. but if by sounding motherly you mean patronizing or speaking down, I surely intended to show my respect for what you are doing, not to sound as if I know more. I have been a writing teacher before -- eek. Please take no offense.

Please tell me more about the expression borrowing the leaf.

How cool that singing is what works....that is exciting for me to hear and not surprising -- it matches an intuition I had. I actually had a vision this summer to start groups of domestic violence survivors engaging with women with developmental disabilities -- singing and dancing together in kind of a spiritual, kirtan kind of way, for mutual healing and bonding....to support each other in knowing their strengths, sharing, supporting, with the dv survivors perhaps ending up more on the life skills teaching end, but both groups sharing strengths together. Maybe I should get off my butt and believe in my vision!

That is also cool about songs in many languages -- are they old, traditional songs from long ago in the cultures?

And wow about the unity of people from many cultures working together with a common aim.

I want to know more. I will go to your page and learn more, and if you want to tell me more, all the better!

Anna

Speaking my Peace

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