2011 VOF Week 4 - "AGENT FOR CHANGE "
My body should be mine to do with as I please
It is not a playground,Free way nor slippery path
For Disrespect, Battery , Assault or Abuse
Or an avenue for heat of the moment without MY PERMISSION
It is a narrow path to be respected
A smooth path that is a sanctuary of warmth and comfort
For I am created in the image and likeness of a Higher Being
It is a sacred ground to be worshipped
It is a temple
I come from a family of many women and I chose to begin my answer with a poem I posted on World Pulse two years ago. This poem reflects the point I was at in my life and rising above it all. One of my greatest visions for my life is to be an agent for change for the girl child and every women both personally , in my community and the world by giving her a voice and the support to rise above invisible societal barriers.
Many of us women spend most of our lives blaming the society and men for many of the misfortunes that affect us. Many times we forget to look within ourselves and ask real questions. Have we ever stopped to think and understand that in some cases we women can be ENEMIES to OURSELVES?
In many societies you hear many women saying they can't have women as best friends nor would they want to have female bosses to avoid conflict. When a woman past the age of 30 is still single, we WOMEN amongst others gossip that she is long overdue for marriage, when she finally marries and is being abused, WE amongst others once again gossip about the horror she is going through and turn a blind eye because we do not want to be accused of ruining a marriage, when this woman picks up courage and runs away, a fellow woman can't provide shelter for her for many reasons I would rather not discuss.
When we complain that we are not respected by men and that they do not help around the house nor do they regard us as equals, have we ever asked ourselves who the nuturers of these men are ? Like the saying " the hands that rocks the cradle , rules the world ". So when as mothers and nuturers we keep our daughters at home all day and let our sons spend most of the day playing and doing other "manly" tasks , or when we tell our sons it is not okay to cry or enjoy domestic tasks because they are men, remember these "little harmless" actions go a long way in forming an individual.
As a growing girl, I remember when a man in my community got his wife's younger sister pregnant, his wife (the older sister) beat up her younger sister and threw her out ! She called this young girl a home breaker and accused her of seducing her husband ! The women supported her and the cheating husband was never called to order nor accused. Another time, there was the case of a man sexually abusing his 10 year old neice and I still remember very well that when he was caught, the wife accused the girl of being a bad girl, claiming that if she had not been "enjoying" it all this while, she would have complained to her when the abuse began ! I had an Engineer neigbour who was always beating up his wife who is a Litigation Lawyer. When he starts to beat this woman, everyone in the compound turns a blind eye because they are married. Before I moved away from that flat, I remember raising alarm with my cousin and calling all the other neigbours to help out. Would you beleive that when the family came to settle the problem, my cousin and I were accused of being single women corrupting his wife !! and the abused wife could not defend us ! the list goes on.
When we women start to stand by each other and form a bond of strength, things would start to get better for us. Many do not like to hear the truth for it can be bitter but the fact is that we as women, need to conquer the fear of the unknown in order to get ahead.
Being a part of this training is very important for me. I have always written but only started blogging years ago as an amatuer blogger, as I have no form of training in journalism but stopped because even though I had many ideas and knew what I wanted to say, I had difficulty in putting it all together to acheive the desired effect. Instead I communicated through short stories and poetry.I beleieve that with proper mentoring and training, it would help me in my networking and communication with other women towards being virtual global sisters to each other by breaking through the barriers of cultural abuse and fear by standing up for each other.