Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Delivering the Deliverables

Nelson Mandela said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

I cannot but wonder at this saying before I decided what to write this week. Over the past years, I’ve been making the occasional adjustment from working harder to working smarter, often against the accustomed deep-rooted habits instilled by thoughts or ideas about women’s rights and the rules or meaning we give to being at some work place trying to do the work of “empowerment”. Indeed, it takes risks to wake the Nigerian society up to its responsibilities toward women. Speaking out and celebrating women and all our many powers has been the bane for reawakening hope over the years. And if we don't celebrate ourselves, who will?

Yet, despite all the inherent risks and its attendant consequences, working in a women-focused organization with the support of key stakeholders, has enabled me put every effort into breaking the culture of silence and ensuring that the voices of women are heard. Over the years, I have used all forms of media to challenge the archetype of masculinity that allows for the resolution of conflict through violence. One strategy that has been adopted is to engage men - policy makers, parents and young boys - in discourse about the dynamics and consequences of violence. This in itself was not an all rosy affair, but it paved way for considerable results.

However while using web 2.0 tools, I have taken advantage of technology to build a bridge to something not altogether different, but workable. I take more and more working vocation and aim to develop new skills. I believe using Pulsewire will help build our movement-making skill and break the existing code of transformation. More than being able to do stuffs, skill means stuff happens when it matters. Skill is the right stuff at the right time.

As rightly put by a colleague, ‘‘A Mantra to live by is ‘We are enough’. Essentially, I believe that we are enough to solve the world's problems. We and Pulsewire are the deliverables dedicated to womanhood or people that strive on behalf of womankind. If we are all ONE, then changing how we relate to ourselves and how we work for change will change our world.

Downloads

Comments

Johanna's picture

Working smarter

Oh, boy, I would love to know more about what you mean by " working smarter...against deep-rooted habits" and how you see Pulsewire perhaps helping you do that! And I'm very interested in knowing more about how you engage men to help reach goals of empowerment.

Beejay's picture

Involving all that matter

My dear Johanna,

Thanks for your comments. Working smarter in this context means involving all keyplayers especially the men, religious and traditional leaders,that can help facilitate the change we are looking for. Patriarchy and cultural traditions is a very big deal in my country. Most behaviours and attitudes (deep-rooted habits) are hinged on the fact these attitudes/habits/beliefs reinforces that women are properties to be owned who should NEVER challenge the authority of a man'. That is why most families will rather invest in the boy child, afterall the girl will be married away anyway, to continue the same cycle of subservience as her mother. The cycle is endless.

Working smarter simply implies that for us to achieve considerable behavioral change in Nigeria, we began to involve them as resource persons, discussants, advocates and trainers across board. For example, in the Northern part of Nigeria, polio cases have been rampant for a while and some of the women deliberately refused to take advantage of donor/government partnership to end it. It took a Sultan of Sokoto (who is somewhat considered a 'minigod') to administer the oral vaccine on a child before most of the women responded positively to saving the lives of their wards. That is what I call 'working smartly'

Beejay Fabamise, Nigeria

desertmuse's picture

Engaging men

I have found in many organizations, those originally founded by women to solve problems, that pulling in men often dilutes the process especially in its early phases. As you have noted, women and men work differently, solve problems differently. Sadly because we have not had a strong voice for several millenia, there is a false belief that the only way to solve problems is the patriarchal way--through power, control and violence. The more education you can provide, the more respect you will receive, the more women will look to you and trust you and your groups to help them grow and become empowered. So much to do, I applaud your work.

Yvonne

Beejay's picture

I feel You

My dear Yvonne

I feel you and it is so sad that sometimes we have to go the patriachal way to get things done. Well, I guess we just have to remain broad-minded if we must achieve any change at all. Fortunately, a few men still champion the cause of women and will give anything or do anything to ensure that sanity is installed in a culturally bastardized area that subjects women to so much torture. We just have to identify them and use them positively - starting from our families. I bet, we will win this battle and exhale in the long run. But till then, we will keep up with the force.
Peace Sister.

Beejay Fabamise, Nigeria

Zane Abweh's picture

Engaging

That was very well written and extremely to the point. Even though i don't know how the situation for women exactly is in Nigeria, your article described it briefly but oh so clearly. And i could definitely relate, because it is very similar to Jordan. I love how you are going about fixing this, your methods seem very promising. Keep it up, this is truly great.

Beejay's picture

Kudos

You are simply gracious my dear. Women's situations all over the world are interrelated. I appreciate your comments. That is why we are all partners in progress. keep up the good work too. I am sure we will discover both new and similar stories as time goes on. Let's keep talking and sharing...
Thanks

Beejay Fabamise, Nigeria

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative