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The struggle to find my identity as a women's rights advocate

Pic from http://www.higherimagesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/confused-300x300.png

In the world today, it feels like it is a whole new challenge that we face as young women’s human rights advocates. When I reflect on the accomplishments of the women’s movement back in the day, it seems they had it all figured out and knew what women needed and what rights had to be fought for. They were so strong and united and made big waves of change.

Women in my country, my region and globally are being treated as second class citizens or as non-rights holders just because they are women. Women’s rights are threatened throughout a woman’s lifespan: from infanticide, to child marriage/labour, to puberty, to abuse/incest, to marital violence, to child birth, to single mothers, to widowhood with many other intersecting realities along the way.

As a woman who has the capacity, skills and knowledge to create positive change for other women who have restricted access, I am constantly questioning my purpose in this world. I echo Jensine’s sentiments of “What now?” and “What is the way forward?” Many issues faced by women are close to my heart especially when she experiences multiple violations of her rights as a result of the intersectionality of her identities. Can you imagine what types of discrimination and inequalities a migrant domestic worker who is a single mother with a disability could potentially experience?
But where do I start to make change? I feel shackled by competing needs and the various possible approaches in addressing the issues faced by women. What exactly is my role in this mass of challenges?

Somewhere in my heart I am being told that start with making it a better place for either a small group of women or a local community. This way, I would be assured that I am channeling my energy and passion towards a change that I can drive slowly but surely. This is where, I now stand. This is where, I will continue my journey as a women’s rights advocate. It is going to be a lifelong journey and learning and I am excited by it.

World Pulse is the platform that will help achieve my dream. I believe that to be a future leader and a woman that is empowered to empower other women, I need to start thinking out loud. I have to build my network. I have to look at the bigger picture of what is happening globally and how it connects to the ground. I want to be motivated, encouraged and awed by the courage and actions of other women’s rights advocates.

Engage, discuss, create, innovate and be a changemaker. Great ideas are generated through consultation and communications and I believe World Pulse is where these can be fostered. I am thrilled to be part of this journey together with the women of the world. This is my access to great ideas that bring about great change for the promotion and protection of women’s human rights.

Comments

Gloriabit's picture

I loved that paragraph

As a woman who has the capacity, skills and knowledge to create positive change for other women who have restricted access, I am constantly questioning my purpose in this world. I echo Jensine’s sentiments of “What now?” and “What is the way forward?” Many issues faced by women are close to my heart especially when she experiences multiple violations of her rights as a result of the intersectionality of her identities.

Sharontina's picture

Hi

You have covered up all the issues in the scenario a woman could face or be subjected to. And thanks for your concern in taking the pain to concentrate beinging changes in all of them. Good posting

Love

Merlin Sharontina

jags_83's picture

Thank you Sharontina

Thank you for reading and sharing your comments. Your postings are extremely touching and grounded in the realities of women. Hopefully I can make changes in the lives of women like the way you are
Love,
Gaya xx

Gaya

What a great list! I agree that these are all critical ingredients to being a strong advocate for women's rights.
Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your hopes and dreams in this post. This work takes so much courage, patience and dedication, and it's hard not to be discouraged by what sometimes appear to be insurmountable challenges.
I love your idea for starting small and driving change slowly but steadily. You clearly have the energy and passion to be successful and your motivation to speak out louder and connect with other women fighting similar battles and grappling with the same dilemmas will make you an even stronger advocate.
I wish you all the best in pursuing these dreams!

jags_83's picture

Thanks, Lyndsay

Hello there,
Thank you for your encouraging comment - I truly appreciate it.
Your reaffirmation of my energy and passion only makes me want to strive further for the betterment of women!
Thanks again for your best wishes and let us all work together to make this beautiful world a wonderful place for all
xx Gaya :)

Gaya

Iffat Gill's picture

Greetings from a Listener!

Hello dear,

Thank you for the post. I like your passion and vision about becoming a women's right advocate. I liked how you wrote:

"As a woman who has the capacity, skills and knowledge to create positive change for other women who have restricted access, I am constantly questioning my purpose in this world."

This great quote also left me more curious to know more about your skills and knowledge to a create positive change. I wish you had written more about that. A specific example of how you have being a change agent would have helped. I also liked how you are already able to understand the fundamentals of change-making and are willing to start small. This is tryuly how most of the successful movements have started and touched the lives of many!

Hope to read more of your writings.
Best wishes.

Iffat Gill

jags_83's picture

Thank you, Iffat

Dear Iffat,

I didn't realise my post would cause others to be curious....great to know! ;)

I actually work at a regional women's rights organisation that specialises on CEDAW. That is where my expertise lies now. The CEDAW principles and the larger women's human rights framework. My work is to mainly build the capacity (trainings/consultations/workshops) of women's groups in using international human rights mechanisms such as CEDAW in carrying forward their agenda at the international and national levels. Through my work we also facilitate the participation of national level women's groups at international processes using rights based language and advocacy strategies. Although my work is at a policy and advocacy level, my heart is still very much at the local level.

In the near future, I really do hope to translate the knowledge and skills gained at my current workplace to the women at the local levels by strengthening their understanding on rights and that it is not the ad hoc charity/"CSR" initiatives that are going to sustain them. I want to explore creative ways of translating this knowledge into everyday life and into lay people's language. CEDAW always seems so far fetched but when you break it down, it addresses the issues faced right on the ground....I have yet to channel my attention to such specific work although I do indirectly do it through my work. I think I am just someone who likes to be at the same level where I can continuously engage with the women in a more sustainable way til they become experts who are well aware of their rights and are able to fend for the rights of others.
My dreams and thoughts are all over at this stage but I hope to iron out my plans with time.

You are absolutely right abt movements that started small that slowly grew to have such a large impact....I hope I can one day make such impacts.

Thanks for bringing out my thoughts, Iffat. Truly appreciate it. Take care and keep in touch.

All the best,
Gaya :)

Gaya

Catsilveira's picture

keep searching

You wrote: “It is going to be a lifelong journey and learning and I am excited by it.” And I can really relate to that……..
I remember that when I was a young girl, I was often confused when people asked me which profession I would want to pursue in life. I had no clue. So one day I told my mom that what I really wanted was to be paid to study. So she said: -“you can be a teacher”. Now I know that what I really want is to bring positive impact on people’s life…

Is lovely to know that there are so many others out there doing/wanting the same..

cheers,

Catarina

"We don't know all the answers. If we knew all the answers we'd be bored, wouldn't we? We keep looking, searching, trying to get more knowledge."

jags_83's picture

Thank you

Dear Catarina,
Thank you for dropping me a note and for sharing your story. It is great to know we can connect with many people based on our thoughts and feelings.
Are you a teacher now?
Looking fwd to hearing more about you :)
I love your quote...it keeps us all going!
Take care and keep smiling xoxo

Gaya

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