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where there is a will there is a way

Over the years three issues have touched my heart dearly, the abuse of women in marriages, abuse of girls and the silence over these issues. I could not get over the reason why my mother stayed with my father even though he was unfaithful. she had many opportunities but stayed and lived a bitter life, holding on quietly as she had been taught, I wish she had thought about her life and her happiness. When I got older, I understood why she said nothing. This was a society that lashed out at people who spoke out and once divorced you are stigmatised. blame is on the woman and many suffer silently like my mother. The final straw was when a colleague committed suicide because of her husband’s infidelity. She did not speak out and when she sought help in the church they told her she had a senior position and could not be divorced though the husband had moved out. the family felt there was no sense in her moving out at her age. There was nowhere to go. No one was offering help but a prescribed silence. The answer they said was to bear her burdens like a woman by keeping quiet.
I was touched by the story of my neighbours niece, an orphaned five year old girl who was raped by her fathers’ friend because she wanted food. The man was not in jail regardless of the evidence, he was bribing the police. The investigation insinuated that there was provocation by the girl which led to the rape but how does a five year old innocent girl provoke a 54 year old man. Many girls are abused by family members and what hurts is that women are responsible for keeping these matters secret. In many cases of abuse women interfere with the law and perpetrators go free. the women lack empowerment and when they report cases they withdraw them because of fear and dependency.

I wanted to help women get a voice. I started working with pupils at my school to educate them on gender issues and abuse. Counselling sessions I had with the girls proved a lot of unreported abuses. I realised change begins with the women and it has a trickling down effect and will transfer to the girls.
My vision is to see a world were women take responsibility for their lives, speaking out about their problems and abuse. Women need to be empowered socially and economically to fight stereotypes and inequality.
VOF inspired me because I felt that the problems women face are universal and when we share ideas, we share and shape the future.my vision is for women to have a place of hope where they are not judged but listened to. A support structure to discuss their problems, access help twenty four hours a day, get support and counselling whilst networking with other women, get life skills, education and a chance to create their destiny. Through VOF our voices will be heard.

Comments

ola.mahadi's picture

good work and change need efforts

It is great to hear you story here in VOF keep up the good work
Regards
Ola

It is never too late to try make your way to your dream and left up your expectation.
Sudanes Women Building Peace
www.suwepmovement.org

pelamutunzi's picture

thank you

thank you for reading my story. this assignment made me reflect on why i do what i do and my vision.it felt good to write and now i can evaluate myself.

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

Sharontina's picture

Good work!

Good work dear sister and i appreciate your effort. Keep sharing.

love

Merlin Sharontina

pelamutunzi's picture

thank you

thank you will continue to share till my vision becomes a reality

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

milliej7's picture

Thanks for your piece Pelamutunzi.

I enjoyed reading your story and have a great deal of respect for the way you have reacted to the difficult, upsetting and frustrating things you saw as you were growing up. I can also relate to how with age you were better able to understand the reasons behind the behaviour of the women surrounding you.

I think you put your finger on a key issue when you talk about the responsibility women have to not keep quiet, but quite rightly point out that it is not that simple. Women need to feel safe and empowered enough in order to take responsibility, speak up and stop these patterns of abuse.

I feel honoured to be part of this forum, reading your writing, hearing your story and participating in shaping a future which is full of women with the safety, empowerment and education to change the role of women, and therefore men, in future generations. Thanks again for sharing your story.

pelamutunzi's picture

thankyou

thank you for reading. the struggle of women and for women begins with women its time we knew that and realise the responsibility in our hands for the future generations. I feel encouraged that you read my post lets keep the communication
glad to meet you in this amazing global community

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

sallyf's picture

Proactivity, not fear and dependency!

Hello Pelamutunzi,
Thank you for your story. It was an engaging, heartfelt read, and I can very much empathise with why you've become involved in VOF. There's something so terribly upsetting and frustrating about seeing suffering and abuse go uncontested.
Your vision represents such and important goal and it's heartening to see that you're already making it a reality by getting out there and talking to the girls and young women at your school. Just this very act of providing them with a space in which questions can be asked and experiences and emotions freely voiced, rewrites the unwritten rules for them: shows them that there is another way, the way of speaking truth, of not being muted. This act alone is powerful and potentially life-changing.. I'm looking forward to seeing where your vision and proactivity will take you and your community next!
Power to you,
Sally.

pelamutunzi's picture

thank you

thank you for your positive and encouraging statements. for too long women in my family have been quiet but none of them have gained happiness from it. I have been called stubborn and carefree but I care which is why I choose to speak. am glad to say younger educated girls are vocal and many things that could have gone unchallenged by the older women face criticism. the girls need mentoring to shape their visions and voices so they can triumph. glad to have shared this story and hoping to see my community empowered.
thank you once again
regards
pelagia

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

busayo's picture

Keep up the good work

Keep up the good work dear sister, women really need a voice so loud that the whole world would have no choice but listen. Your story is the same all over the world and we will not keep silent until there is a turn around for good.
KEEP IT UP!!

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

pelamutunzi's picture

thank you

I appreciate the encouragement my sister. one day we will be heard. many are already turning heads and soon they will listen and we will make them act. all the agreements in the world came because someone spoke so loudly they had to be heard. we cant stop now. thank you for reading once again
regards
pelagia

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

pelamutunzi's picture

thank you

I appreciate the encouragement my sister. one day we will be heard. many are already turning heads and soon they will listen and we will make them act. all the agreements in the world came because someone spoke so loudly they had to be heard. we cant stop now. thank you for reading once again
regards
pelagia

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

pelamutunzi's picture

thank you

I appreciate the encouragement my sister. one day we will be heard. many are already turning heads and soon they will listen and we will make them act. all the agreements in the world came because someone spoke so loudly they had to be heard. we cant stop now. thank you for reading once again
regards
pelagia

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

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