Activities to Empower Women
Some 11 years ago, I had my first really public empowerment activities that involved women. I was invited to be a speaker at the United Women's Methodist Conference. I spoke on "Powerful Women of the Bible". What inspirited me most about the event was to see how much my sisters needed to know how important they were in religion. I felt bless to have touched so many lives, women were crying and shouting and in the end thanking me for helping them to heal emotionally. As much as I loved this experience, I suffered a great loss after this event and have had little time to reflect upon it until recently through my volunteer work, in Ethiopia. It was there that I re-ignited my passion for empowering women. I became the Women's Affairs Office at the University of Axum and was responsible for helping to ensure young university women received equity on campus. Initially women were outnumbered 100:1. Before my departure, women represented half of the student body population and I was able to launch a Women's Resource Center for Training and Development and get funding from the Austrian Government as well as support for the University to open it. But most memorable from this experience was my experience from one of the female students who share that she was married off at 15 due to the death of her mother, in a culture where women could be married off at 9. She was an extremely bright student who had one of the highest GPA's at the university, despite having given birth the first year of her entry into the university. Despite having a 3.9 GPA as a mother. She possessed the most humble confident spirit I'd ever witnessed in a person. She studied holding here baby in one arm on the breast, and her class notes in the other! It is times like these that I am feel most proud to be a women, because of all we due despite having to be mommy, student, worker, nurse and everything else, we do what we do because we care. It is women like those in so called "third world" countries who make me feel and know that we are the stronger of the two legged species!!!!