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Women we are making a difference in our time.

I walked into the banking hall some few weeks back and saw the lovely faces of some middle aged women, one of them asked me with a smile if I had a pen she could use, I gave her and the next thing she handed the pen alongside some papers back to me saying “my friend help me write I nor sabi read and write I nor go school” meaning please I’m not educated and I cannot read nor write, I did and also filled that of her friends, I later found out they sell at the local market and they came for loan at the bank. I left the bank thinking how long we are going to see women in this state of helplessness especially in this 21st century?
My name is Ohwota Mirabel Erute 2nd child of 5 children, grew up without the proverbial “silver spoon” in Nigeria. I lost my dad at an early age and was raised single handedly by my mother, a high school teacher who was raised in a rural village in south west Nigeria by her parents who were farmers, but was determined to get western education at all cost especially at a time when males were preferred to be educated and a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
My mother will always say “you are lucky to be born this time” I asked why and she said “life is easier now than when I was growing up, I will have to walk miles to school and wait for months to get reply to my letters just within the country” Thinking about it I realized how lucky I am, I can sit in the comfort of my home communicate and make friends with people around the world, people I could never meet in person, also realized how Web 2.0 is increasing access to communications technology, new media and also how it provides us women with an opportunities to promote our voices, strengthen collaboration, and accelerate the exchange of working models for women’s empowerment and solutions to global challenges. To crown it all it serves as an opportunity to meet and team up with other women of like minds, who are passionate about change and making a difference to proffer solutions to things that affect us as women and at large in the society.
Conclusively my mother never had it better than this when she was as young as me, so I will say it is a platform to fulfilling my dreams of reaching out to the less privileged women and young girls by letting the world know what is happening in my community.
Women we are making a difference in our time.

Comments

KeMadagascar's picture

Dear Mirabel, you're a shining star!

Hello! I'm Ke from Madagascar and I just wanted to tell you that I loved your story!! I also live in a very poor country where women are daily treated like dogs and where freedom of expression, access to school and all of these elementary things are denied to women.....Your story really affected and touched me and I'd like to encourage you to continue this amazing Web 2.0 experience with creating and undertaking concrete projects dedicated to women and girls. What do you plan to do for women in your country?

All my warmest thoughts :)
Ke

ChelseaPeil's picture

Perspective

Hello,

I agree, collaboration and women helping women seems to be the way we have evolved out of the kitchen, not that we weren't everywhere else too. Thank you for sharing the perspective from your mother's story. I think about the web 2.0 question and the women who needed your help to fill out loan paper work. We have an amazing tool indeed, but the screen also keeps people from those real encounters where physical help is needed. Hope we all can find a balance between maintaining change on the ground and in front of the computer screen.

Thank you for sharing your story and inspiration.

Chelsea

Chelsea Peil

OHWOTA ERUTE MIRABEL's picture

Thanks ke and chelsea, for

Thanks ke and chelsea, for the past 1 yr, we (Youth In Action Nigeria) has being working with young women who dropped out of school due to early pregnancy and other issues, and right now we have about 20 women who have gone back to resume normal school and 30 who have enrolled at an evening school to get empowered, those women I met at the banking hall have all being followed up and we are having challenges of their spouses not allowing them to participate in our program, but YES WE CAN..............still keeping in touch with them.

Affecting my world is my target.................

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