My voice is my power and yours

As I think of the current crises that are facing women in Sudan, I get really frustrated and begin to think that the chance of my vision for empowered Sudanese women is bleak. Sudanese women, descendants of Kandakes who lead armies in battle, and ruled over ancient kingdoms, are being oppressed in the name of tradition, laws, and religion. Their bodies are the battlefields in which senseless wars of genocide and hegemony have been fought. Their fragile bones crushed underneath the burden of cultural norms that limit them from fully participating in their communities. Their souls however soar high beyond these barriers. Whether it is in Darfur, or in Khartoum, despite the dangers, agony and hardships they endure, women still bend backwards to make both ends meet. I find through World Pulse,console when I read about the women and girls who move mountains to achieve their dreams, and stand as testimony to the power within us that waits to be released.

Through my involvement in the World Pulse, my path has taken a long awaited turn. For a long time I was waiting for an opportunity to be an agent of change in the lives of women. I have made various connections to resources and wonderful women from different parts of the world. There are no words that can describe my gratitude for the opportunity to be part of the World Pulse community. It has given me a platform through which I can address the challenges that women in Sudan face, connect with people to find solutions across geographical borders, and cultures. To be able to do this is truly amazing.

My voice comes from the passion I have to make my vision for Sudanese women come true. I want to magnify the cries of survivors of sexual crimes, and domestic violence so that it may be heard. I want us to reclaim the bodies that were scarred in the name of traditions, and for those scars to heal. I want the accusatory cultural views to change so that women feel supported to address these issues, and not suffer alone in silence anymore. I want domestic violence to be addressed seriously, and not seen as a personal issue, or a form of spousal discipline. I want rape to be seen as a crime and not as a punishment because a woman’s behavior can be subjected to debate and interpretation. I want women to find a safe space to speak their truth of the experience. Essentially, I want discussion of sexual crimes, and domestic violence to be normalized so that we may overcome them, and so that the perpetrators do not find safety within cultural norms that allow the unbearable silence.

Through Voices of Our Future, I will find a way to share my voice, and for it to be heard across the world. I believe that when a woman’s voice is rising louder, it gives an opportunity for women who live in fear and silence a chance to speak out. Every woman, including myself has something to offer through her voice. I want to become a Voices of Our Future correspondent because I do not want to continue the silence. I want to be at a position that allows me to give voice to the voiceless women who endure the trauma with agonizing silence. Through the program, I will gain invaluable skills that I can use to raise awareness about the rape that is taking place in conflict zones throughout Sudan, and the oppressive tactics used to silence women from making legitimate demands. It will help me build local and global bridges to share challenges and find solutions. By becoming a Voices of Our Future citizen journalist, I will gain the confidence I need to network in order to locate resources, and develop strategies to combat Sexual crimes and domestic violence. It will allow me to be a stronger advocate for survivors of rape and domestic violence, and raise awareness locally within my community, and globally throughout the world to empower women to speak up and heal. In essence, it is the start of a vision in actualization, and a dream coming true.

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