Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Why me?

The isolating and socially annihilating impact of violence and abuse on self results in women seeking to be invisible in the homes, families and communities they live in. To a lesser extent the secondary citizenship that is part of being a women, the abject terror in which they live with fathers, brothers, husband and sons have made women voiceless and self effacing. Despite living sometimes in these horrible conditions, women when they are blamed for a man’s alcoholism, his countless affairs with ‘the other women’, the shame of being barren or worse still of not bearing a son or bearing the stigma of being the carrier of AIDS has made women to raise their voices and cry ‘Why me’, what did I do?
Stories of women and their trials cut across class/caste barriers- college professors whose pay packet is deposited in her husband’s account and who lives on a daily handed out pittance, women who flee from their husbands for police protection and are then threatened and vilely abused by the husband’s family with no remorse for their violent behaviour and a society that thrives on oft repeated sayings like ‘whether a man is straw or stone he is still a husband’, ‘it is better to die in your husband’s home, than be separated’ has led many a women to commit suicide by burning herself, throwing herself into a well along with her children. The fight for women’s rights and her education is a long drawn process of enabling women to define her ‘self’ and to forge new links to create her own destiny.
Working with women has helped me, challenged me and inspired me – a village women who proudly held herself with confidence and broke the most sacred yellow thread signifying her marriage and said that she does not need any symbols that bind her, women who have refused to stay in a abusive relationship saying ‘ I don’t want my daughters thinking that violence is natural/normal part of life’, a widow who chooses to live alone as ‘I want to be independent’, women who chuckle and hold on to their purse strings knowing that she is respected when she has resources, girls who have completed their education and going on to higher studies with hard won scholarships knowing that they are the beacon to the next generation .. the stories go on ..the generosity of women in a street who feed and house runaway youngsters with no questions asked till the boy is ready to go back home, self help group of women who have taken up the challenge to educate all the village children and take a collection monthly that becomes a fund for higher education. The stigma of widowhood is challenged in the songs that they sing ‘my mother decorated me with flowers and jewellery, she put a black spot on my face to ward off evil, before I knew you existed I wore flowers and jewellery tell me again o man, why should I not wear flowers or jewels now that you are dead?’Violence is condemned ‘ you beat me then you bring me flowers, maybe if I had said no to the flowers I wouldn’t now be lying beaten to death and garlanded with flowers’
I would like to document the lives and triumphs of women’s daily struggles and their ability to overcome their fears and trials. Story telling has always been an ancient art to transfer values, to inspire courage and enable individuals to grow into their potential and world pulse and the voices of the future correspondence will educate me to reach into this digital and social media age[of which I am now fascinated and repulsed by] to make a difference in women’s lives. Gandhi said ‘Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.I would like to work more extensively on the issue of contract labor exploitation of women as this issue cuts across three spheres - the corporate, the middleman and the marginalized and may integrate concepts like corporate social accountability and human rights. Another area i would like to work with is messaging - the ability to use a few words and visual media to communicate a powerful idea for change in attitude, behavior and beliefs. Be the change you want to see in this world.

Comments

YAOtieno's picture

Powerful

Every single word you have written in this article is powerful! it shows the struggle and victories of women and also conveys how passionate you are about highlighting the stories of women. I really hope that we shall get ti read more from you. this words are very powerful....and i hope more women get to read this

"My mother decorated me with flowers and jewellery, she put a black spot on my face to ward off evil, before I knew you existed I wore flowers and jewellery tell me again o man, why should I not wear flowers or jewels now that you are dead?’Violence is condemned ‘ you beat me then you bring me flowers, maybe if I had said no to the flowers I wouldn’t now be lying beaten to death and garlanded with flowers’

Thanks for sharing,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Rita Raj's picture

thanks

thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

Adepeju's picture

Wow! Well written Rita. I

Wow! Well written Rita. I particularly like the instructive end...Be the change you want to see! All the best dear friend.

pinkypradhan's picture

Rita I hear you.You have very

Rita I hear you.You have very nicely brought about the issues that we face just by being born as a woman. Another great resource to share your views is www.genderbytes.com. I hope I got the url right.

Keep it going!
Pinky

Pinky

Stella Paul's picture

Best wishes!

Dear Rita,
Your vision can only make our tomorrow better. Here is wishing you best of luck, both for VOF and for your vision

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Jency's picture

Hi

Hi there, my hometown girl, your passion and angst shines through in your words. Wishing you the best.

Jency

Hi Rita,

Yes, your voice is powerful, and I look forward to hearing your stories of women in your community.

I recently saw a video production that an Indian woman made on women in India. This video portrayed her Mother, and others in her community. Their experiences were well received. People are supportive and interested in knowing more.

I feel that you could really get support for each other and make a difference by sharing these stories via media.

I would be anxious to hear more of your stories!

Thanks so much for shining the light on women's issues in India!
joya

lspano27's picture

Wow - A very powerful piece

Wow - A very powerful piece through of details - your threaded together words of bits of stories of the lives of women that everyone needs to listen to. We need more people like you to ensure that women are not the second class citizens they are said to be in some places.

Thanks for sharing! I hope to hear more

Lisa T's picture

Keep sharing your voice!

Rita,

You have a powerful and inspiring vision and I hope you continue to share your voice and your stories on Pulse Wire!

Best wishes,
Lisa

foxyhedgehog's picture

Powerful writing

Your post was really powerful, lots of details and a great vision for the future. I hope you find ways to work with social media to get your stories and others out into the world, and that World Pulse offers you a place to find support and encouragement. We all have a lot to learn from your work. With thanks, Katie

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

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

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative