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The IVAWA,The Abolition Of A Subtle,Yet Cruel Form Of Slavery!

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Dear President Barack Obama and Secretary Of State Hilary Clinton,

It is a rare privilege for a human of my gender and caliber to be given the opportunity to raise a voice not only beyond my household but to the leaders of the great and admirable land of equal opportunities. I speak not only for myself but for millions of other women who would otherwise be hushed to silence. Our minds and bodies have for ages suffered under the yoke of unchanging cultures that have left us in tears and hopelessness. Please dry our tears by passing the International Violence Against Women Act.

‘’What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish." Hillary Clinton.

When 30 year old Beatrice lost her husband, she sat and slept on the bare floor for one month, was not allowed to shake hands with people, take her bath, have a change of clothes, and was asked to drink the water that was used to wash her husband`s corpse. She was later forced to marry her late husband`s brother who equally died of HIV a year later. Beatrice was again obliged to undergo the widowhood rituals for another year. Today she is HIV positive and seriously sick.She has no job nor property and has six orphans to look after.( A destiny drained to dryness by the negativity of culture) With the increase in death rates over the past years due to HIV\AIDS, there has been a rise in the number of women who undergo such ordeals .Widowhood in the Western Highlands of Cameroon is measured at approximately 33.3%.

President Obama,one of the first times I listened to you,I found reassurance in these words:

‘’The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness’.’

Equality and freedom are far fetched ideals for the women of Cameroon. Every evening in my village, my thoughts are preoccupied by the heart -throbbing cries of battered women amidst the sounds emanating from mortars pounding the evening meal, and the thought of teenage girls living in fear of how painful their next breast ironing session will be. My heart bleeds when I think of how difficult it has been for me and many other women to get the little education we have acquired and how seemingly impossible it is for us to be get more.

In addition, unequal opportunities at work place, the feminization of HIV\AIDS, high rates of maternal mortality, female genital mutilation are some of those barriers to equality and being able to receive our ‘’full measures of happiness’’. We desire to emerge from our relegated positions to the world`s corridors of decision making; to be given more opportunities for learning; to be liberated from the clutches of negative cultural norms and above all to join our imaginations with our fellow men for the common purpose of making a prosperous world.

President Obama I regard you as the world’s number one evidence of the fact that giving a chance for equal opportunities is giving a chance for progress:

‘’What free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage’’.

Our imaginations cannot thrive when the world gives a deaf ear to the raging acts of violence that are perpetrated against us day and night. Passing the International Violence Against Women Act, would be equal to abolishing a subtle form of slavery that has existed from time immemorial in all parts of the world, keeping the destinies of millions of women in chains.

‘’…..know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
…………that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.’’Barack Obama.

It is my dream to see a world where women are seen as humans and not sub- humans, where women shall utilize their full potentials and not regard themselves as objects of pleasure. It is my prayer to see more women in decision-making positions in my country and in the world

The IVAWA is a panacea to the world `s most dangerous ailments because women are those most affected by HIV, climate change, war, floods and famines.

I respectfully appreciate the time you have taken to read this letter and thank you for taking the lead in addressing the issue of violence and oppression that women in many countries face every moment of their lives.

Yours Faithfully,
Shekina

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Please join the PulseWire community in speaking out against violence and urging the U.S. government to pass the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA). Write your letter in your PulseWire journal to share your personal and observed experience in gender-based violence, both in your life and within your community. Tag your journal "IVAWA", and World Pulse will send your letter directly to President Obama, along with letters from women around the world. Learn more: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...

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warona's picture

MY HEART THROBS

Hi Leina

Its very painful,very! I believe the dream shall come true dear.You know Leina some of these things is cruelity beyond measure,You tell me, how can someone 's breasts get ironed,how can old mamas do the genital matilation.This is all bad.can you imagine the pain that from the past years people have been enduring without nobody to speak out.I am an African,issues of being offered as a sacrifice,people are told to accept since their family will be honoured.What is the honour all about and what shall they reap out of such.Just causing an unbearable torture and death to someone gives them plessure and they celebrates afterwards.

We all wish this time around the president will hear the world 's cries.

Thank you Leina,this is great

Wish you all the best

Warona

"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Leina's picture

Dear Warona,

Dear Warona,
Let us keep our fingers crossed that God will come to our aid through the IVAWA.He is equally unhappy about our cries and will obviously use the leaders of today`s world to come to an aid.Thanks Warona for being an advocate for women.
Love
Leina

jadefrank's picture

IVAWA update

Dearest Leina,

Thank you for participating in the IVAWA letter writing campaign and for sharing your voice and your personal testimony with President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and members of the US Senate on the urgency of ending violence against women.

We sent copies of your letter in packages, along with your fellow PulseWire members', to these key decision makers, and I am excited to announce that on December 15, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee! Our voices were effective in supporting this bill!

Next step for the bill: Get passed by the Senate and House by the end of the year. I will keep you updated!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade Frank

Online Community Manager
World Pulse

Leina's picture

Waow JadeFrank,

Waow JadeFrank,
I am so happy we made it.I pray for the next step to be efffective.This is the beginning of better things to come.
Love
shekina

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