That I May Speak for Myself
In 2009, as I was undertaking my Masters in Women’s Law, in one of my courses- Social Justice and Legal Reform Strategies, a class project we had was to develop advocacy communication and present it in any way each of us liked. I chose to present mine as a website which pulled together or utilized the materials and information that the rest of the class had developed. I was proposing a website that people could log in and add comments or post their stories and maybe ask questions- something easy and interactive.
Well, it was a good presentation and I got a really good grade for it as this was something that the class agreed was a possible way to engage in participatory communication that can lead to social change.
In March this year, I completed and submitted my dissertation on Media Coverage of Women in Sport. Through this study I discovered how access to media by sports women and girls is limited and how their stories are presented from other people’s perspectives and how they usually are not give a chance to voice their own concerns.
One of my recommendations was that girls and women’s empowerment programmes need to look into promoting women’s voice and opportunities to speak for themselves. When I came across World Pulse I noticed it was doing just that, providing a platform for one to speak out. This was exciting for me, so I decided to apply for the Voices of Our Future. I felt the need to do this because if I am saying it should be done then its useful for me to utilize so that I may speak from an informed position.
Not only that, with Voices of Our Future I recognize the opportunity to develop my skills and interest in writing for a broad audience, to learn to listen to others also as this is as important as writing and speaking out are I guess.
My personal vision of influencing youth and women to use their skills and power to change their lives and take up their opportunities in sport and other spheres of life can benefit from this project, with these skills I can be an inspiration to my peers who have access to this type of forum or other forms for them to actively seek to utilize their choices.
It is a significant part of my vision as it is at this point that I am experiencing the realities of this form of advocacy and mobilization, I am learning that it is about giving of myself through telling my personal experiences and not just sharing the experiences of other people.This is important to helping me in my work where I talk about empowering youth and women to speak for themselves, I am becoming able to practice the principle 'No one speaks for me. I speak for myself' !