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'Human Rights Is Women's Empowerment'

2013 VOF WEEK 2
‘Human Rights Is Women’s Empowerment
My upbringing setting was a Patriarchy Society, where women were regarded as second class citizens, or as properties whose values were equated to that of a piece of furniture in an apartment. They were only to be seen and not heard.

Furthermore, so much value was placed on the male child in the society then. They were regarded as the hen that lays the golden egg. If a woman gave birth to a girl child, the whole atmosphere would look gloomy especially if she had had several female children earlier. But as soon as the birth of a male child is announced, the tempo of the celebration automatically increases. Worse more, for the girl child, was if she happens to be the first child in the family. She does all the family chores daily while her brother idles away playing or watching TV only to be treated like an heir to a throne.

With very keen observation, i became very agitated and angered at the happenings around. There were so many questions to be answered. I waited patiently and looked forward for an opportunity to be heard. I also resolved to study hard and impact lives if given the opportunity. Leadership opportunity soon came my way as a high school prefect and many girls were motivated through the debating club regularly as we met after school to discuss issues that bordered us. This however, led to the development of some salient skills in me - assertiveness, self-esteem and study skills.

As i grew into womanhood, i began to read books on profiles of great women who dared to create changes in their communities by changing the old stereotypes of society through personal development and hard work. Personally, i was inspired by women like Condolezza Rice, Magarette Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, many but a few to mention.
I began to dream and visualize a society where women would not be marginalised, stigmatised and discriminated against but rather would be accorded their rightful place, rights and opportunities like their male counterparts.

This began to spur in me a great desire and yearning to tell my story to the world. It also kindled a burden/vision to work hard in empowering the girl-child and women with basic tools like education, self-esteem and exposure, that will make them stand ou, walk tall and make a difference in this dispensation.
This is our time!

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Comments

Jan K Askin's picture

Importance of Examples

Dear Hilda,

I read with great respect your life story. Your comparison of women to pieces of furniture is an indelible image.

It is most interesting how role models influenced your journey to greater activism. May you become a role model for the next generation of girls.

What are you involved in currently? Are you an educator? Are you working with girls/women?

Your sister in the US,

Jan Askin

Jan Askin

Hilda's picture

Hi Jan, Thank you so much for

Hi Jan,
Thank you so much for this very encouraging message. I am glad that there are people who appreciate our story and work.

I'm actually involved in women's and girls work. This entails trainings, mentoring, capacity building, workshops, life skill and vocational skill trainings on a regular basis. I'm very passionate about the status of women and also interested in improving the lot of the girl-child. I run an NGO called: Initiatives for Sustaining Gender Empowerment. But my attention is 90% women and girls. Currently, i'm planning to host a children's day program for 500 secondary school girls coming up on Monday, 27 May, 2013. Please, feel free to contribute your input.

Please, do keep in touch and let's talk some more later.
Thank you.
regards,
Hilda.

Jan K Askin's picture

Girls on the Run

Dear Hilda,

Although I am a retired teacher and principal, I volunteer for a program for girls aged 9-11 called Girls on the Run. Along with coaching the girls in warm-up and running each week, we administer a curriculum aimed at "Girls Power." The girls learn good health habits, how to select friends with similar values, how to stand up for themselves, and how to serve the community.

I will love to hear about your children's day program in May.

Regards,
Jan

Jan Askin

Hilda's picture

The May 27 Program

Hello Jan,

As per your request, the details for the program is as below:

Venue- The Unity Center, Opp. St. Barth's Church, 9, Yeside Street, Aguda Surulere, Lagos.
Time - 10. am Prompt.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Thank you.
Regards,
Hilda.

gaurav.nakhare's picture

This is YOUR time!

Dear Hilda,

Thank-you for sharing -- reading about your leadership experiences is extremely inspiring. I hope the World Pulse community can continue to be a platform for you to share, learn, and grow!

Best wishes,

Gaurav Nakhare
WP Listener

Hilda's picture

Thank you

Dear Gaurav,

Cheers!

Regards,

Hilda.

Dear Hilda:

I like your writing, and you paint a good picture -- unhappy though it is -- about the patriarchy. Your explanation of the steps in your life that supported your opportunities to help girls and women builds hope and encouragement. When I read in your note to Jan about what you are doing, how you are putting your beliefs into action, I saw the power of your vision coming into being in your world.

I am so impressed about the work you are creating. I wonder how that came about and what hurdles you surmounted to bring that all about. Maybe it was all handed to you...and I doubt it. Even for people whose opportunities are bountiful, hurdles force them to prove their commitment to what they believe in. Maybe that is like a heroine's journey when one is called to do important work. Have you found that?

Please don't be afraid to put your work into your writing...when the topic allows. I see no reason not to post a whole different essay -- an extra one -- about how you created the enterprises for women and girls. Very impressive.

This essay above is good-- your writing is clear and you have a good sense of metaphor and english usage. Congratulations,

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Hilda's picture

A Call Indeed!

Dear Sister Anna,

I don't know what to really say, but you actually forced the word out of my mouth. It is a CALLING indeed.
Put it like this also, a combination of all i went through and what i am called to do for humanity. You know, the world is a big stage where we all are expected to perform. So, i am PERFORMING my role!

Thank you once again. Cheers.

Regards,
Hilda.

Potter's picture

Thanks, Hilda

Thank you for this powerful submission. Yes, you are a keen observer! It seems you have stepped up to each leadershiip opportunity that has come your way or have created opportunities where perhaps none knocked on your door.. I'd love to hear more about your NGO and especially your plans for gathering of school girls in May. I imagine there will be some amazing stories to tell about that event. Have you considered inviting the girls to write their own stories? Hmmm... I'd love to read them.

Hilda's picture

Dear sister i appreciate all

Dear sister i appreciate all your beatiful comments. Thank you.

The program precisely is on 27th May, 2013. It is a special International Children's Day program for Secondary School Girls. Address is : The Unity Centre - Opposite St. Barth's Church, Aguda, Surulere. Time is 10.am.

We look forward to seeing you and others!

Regards,
Hilda

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