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Listening to the Inner Voices

Men were unattainable, almost otherworldly creatures given unlimited freedoms. I was always surrounded by females. My life was centered on women. My family, including relatives, is made up of entirely of women. The women in my family are all confident, strong women who made running family life, providing even essentials an unending act of love. But that feminine confidence did not pass to me, I thought, as I had my life centered on men, trying to emulate the males I knew.
My family life would set the pace for the rest of my life. My school life from kindergarten years to tertiary education consisted of more women than men. I had more female than male teachers. My classroom showed more girls than boys especially during secondary school where I attended an all girls school. University should have shown some improvement; however, my lectures and tutorials were consisted mostly of females as the university population illustrated a 8:2 ratio of women to men.
I lived in an all girls dormitory for most of my years at university. Two years ago, a few females and a female administrator from the university took up the task of improving the lives of young girls outside the university most girls especially within inner-city and rural communities. They created the I’m Glad I’m a Girl Foundation, an organization by young women for young female adults aimed towards giving young girls ages 13 to 17 with skill sets for protecting themselves, to change and impact their young charges they adopted, giving them positive role-models that they can emulate, creating a safe haven with females close to their age that they can relate and share experiences and providing the support they needed to be young females.
It is becoming a part of this group that I understood the importance of females in the world, their significance was undervalued, under appreciated and even underestimated and in some way I had contributed to a cycle. By socializing with young females, I realized that they too had been disillusioned into the belief that they were worth less that they thought, that their hair was not of what society deemed “quality”, their skin was not of a standard that was considered beautiful, their body was an object for sexual gratification or displeasure to used as another believed, and their minds were depressed, negative and under appreciated.
Thus began the challenge to publicize the organization, to gain aid in continuing our foundation and be spokespersons for the girls and females and join in the world in empowering and celebrating females and World Pulse was the perfect avenue to begin. After scouting the website, we came across the Voices of Our Future competition and I decided to enter. In entering, it is considered that the journey toward the future has begun. It is sensitization of governments, organizations, businesses and citizens, male and female, on the significance of women and girls, the power of their worth and contribution that they can may towards all areas of life.


Khaiwana's picture


This lovely Latoya. Keep writing!

Jan K Askin's picture

The Power of role Models

Dear Latty,

You write of a powerful internal transformation from a life you felt was too circumscribed by women to one where women are essential. I want to learn more about the I'm Glad to be a Girl Foundation. It targets a critical time in the development of young women, ages 13-17. I imagine that the biological sisters as well as the social sisters in your life have had a profound impact on you, an impact that you will continue to uncover as the years pass.

In your "journey toward the future" you will be an inspiration for the next generation.

Your sister in the US,

Jan Askin

Jan Askin

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Interesting story

Dear friend,

Thanks for sharing these valuable insights in a creative manner. Look forward to more from you.


Jensine's picture

You are creating a new world

Dear Latty -

YOu are a wonderful writer - what a journey! Thank you for devoting your life to create safe havens for girls.

Jensine Larsen
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