Jan 21, 2015
Having worked in the development sector for the past 5 years, I have a plethora of stories and statistics, of sad but true facts about how women still get the short end of the stick, how women are all too often relegated to the background, how we are hardly ever given a chance to say and be who we want to be. And yes I know all these to be true, but all too often they sound like clichés, I have recited them by rote so many times, I fear I am becoming numb to the reality of it. I know for a fact that the women in my family have all toed the line, fulfilled societal expectations and never asked “what about me”? My grandmother did it, my mother and aunts do it, my sister has started doing it.... the list goes on. But unlike these women, I determined long ago that in my life, no one decides for me. No one holds me back but me. I am the one that sees those limitations and say it is pointless trying to challenge the status quo. And so call it a mid life crisis or whatever, but this year as I eyeball my 30th, I realise that it really is time to get a move on and start chasing my dreams, fulfilling my calling....
Drawing from Amartya Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’, my vision is a world where women are free to pursue their dreams and live their lives as they deem fit. Where we are able to make choices that matter beyond deciding what is for dinner tonight. And so starting with my community, I envision one filled with vibrant women, who are able to move beyond merely existing to really living. Women who not only acknowledge the power and potential within them, but are prepared to seize it and defend it with fierce passion.
I believe in the power of the spoken word, however where it is impossible to speak loudly enough to be heard, writing will do just as well. Writing is a medium that cuts across boundaries. As I said in week 2, in my work I’ve come to realise that unless you write your story and write it well, very few can relate to the change you seek to bring about. Being a Voices of Our Future Correspondent is an opportunity for me to hone my writing skills. A chance to learn from the shared experience of others and widen my network of contacts; however most importantly it is a vital step in the direction of my dreams. In recent times, a few organizations have evolved on the web – organizations like Avaaz, Save Darfur – whose focus is on reaching as many people as possible creating a groundswell of support for whatever ideal they presently pursue. That is what I want to achieve with my writing. To be able to write so well that just by reading an article you grasp the urgency of the matter and the need for immediate change; and feel compelled to respond.
My favourite book of all time, the Bible, says “... write the vision down; make it plain and simple that all those who read it may run with it...” That is the goal, that my writing be a blueprint for action that people are able to connect with and tap into!
PS - As I type this I’m listening to John Legend and the Roots.... and so to all my sisters on the VOF 2010 this one is for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJgxJ6JrPkc ....remember, the world won’t get any better if we just let it be.....