In Burundi, Women are the Future
Women are the makers of society. If women are empowered, then the society is empowered. Over the last couple of years I have been working with African you and focusing my research and writing on women. It is my vision to continue working with women particularly in post-conflict zones in Africa. Women in these zones face unique challenges where at times, having had to adopt a different lifestyle during the time of war, they return to a society that expects them to assume their former roles that have been relegated to them by society. For instance, during conflict, women are often left behind by their male counterparts who go out to fight or flee. In these instances women have to become the sole breadwinners. The family units are also broken and girls who were abducted and raped have to assimilate to society again and at times have to live among the perpetrators.
My hope for these women, starting with Burundi, is first and foremost give them a voice where their stories can be heard. Most importantly, I would like to establish a medium where research can take place, and women’s issues are given a platform where the state government can act based on researched data. I would also like to create a strong network of peer mentors for women that is economically based. Women training other women on how to start and run businesses in a process where a network of women with diverse backgrounds can lean on each other for support.
This program will be just one of the many stepping-stones to achieving my goals. I will have access to a network of women that I will be able to learn from, and glean from their experiences in their diverse communities. I will also be able to have a consistent platform where I can continually explore the meaning of being a citizen journalist, and what that entails. I have consistently asked myself what my responsibilities, as a blogger, were. I think that having this platform will enable me to explore this further, pushing myself to use this time as a growing period and an opportunity to seek out other women who are interested in working on women’s issues in different post-conflict regions in Africa. This vision is not clear at the moment, but I am hoping, working with a mentor will also help me horn in on this.
One thing is for sure, if given the opportunity to participate in this program, I will use it to highlight on women issues in Burundi- particularly since not very many of us have had the opportunity to become actively involved in the digital space.