Be the Dream, Live the Dream
"It's okay for my boyfriend to beat me when I do something wrong. He's just correcting me in love."She said.
"Too much education destroys a woman."
I gained insight into gender bias early in life as a little girl growing up with my female siblings. When someone asked if I had a brother and I replied in the negative, looks of pity or dismay would pass across their faces. The question began to arise in me, are girls not good enough?
By the time I encountered gender discrimination and domestic violence through the writings and personal experiences of African women writers such as Buchi Emecheta, I knew what my passion was. I wanted to add my voice to the ongoing revolution to free women from the limitations that enshackled us. I wanted women all over the world to reach their full potential.
I have come across men who felt they were complimenting me, when they said - "You are one of the few intelligent ladies I have met." Their words only stirred up anger in me. I knew this was a fallacy bordering on stereotypes such as this one - "women are naturally dumb."
Once, I lent my laptop to a male classmate to type his term paper. I was unaware that he had copied my work. So, when the lecturer discovered similarities in our papers, I was summoned. He said, "I know most women are lazy scholars. If you confess, your punishment will be light." I was livid! He had not even given me the benefit of doubt. If that classmate of mine had not confessed to his crime, I would have been punished for being 'a lazy female scholar.'
Then, I began to relate with women I came across everyday. I got a queer feeling when I noticed most were resigned to whatever negative condition they were in. A cousin in an unhappy abusive marriage stays put because it is culturally unacceptable for a woman to leave her husband's house. An unmarried friend decides not to further her education because an enlightened woman with high educational qualifications wards off potential suitors. I realised I knew very few women who had allowed their 'self' to thrive.
So when I heard of the program, "Voices of our Future," I knew I had found the perfect outlet to actualise my dream of being a part of the global women empowerment scheme. Even though I had been trying to project this dream through my writings, I felt being a part of a virtual community of women such as Worldpulse would give my vision direction and propel me into the exact channels where my voice can be heard and make positive impacts on the lives of others.
I dream of a time and place where women can unite as one with a resonant voice that booms and uproots all hindrances to our rights, freedom and well-being. For that dream to come true, it begins with you and me.