I was born into the world without glamour or splendour! I was born right there on a mat in my mother’s hut. There was no midwife, no nurse, no doctor! My mother was a poor widow who could not afford hospital expenses. She told me there was neither ante-natal nor post-natal attention received. Because she did not encounter any complications on the process of my delivery, she named me ‘Omere-ebere Chukwu’ meaning ‘the mercy of God upon me’.
Reminiscence of situation at my birth, other developments and situations of my mother and other girl-children in my community, I get disturbed by issues and experiences that subject women to suffering and to untold hardships. I desire to make a difference. I desire for a change in my community. Yes, I believe I am a change agent, a unique person!
Because unique, I owe it to myself to facilitate and manage my unique powers. I always envision for myself a life of ever-evolving and growing self. I think in organic way, strive for upward movement. I visualize myself climbing upwards to accomplish my life goals, the goal of contributing in making changes happen in my community and the world. I vision for a community, where individuals be empowered to discover their growing edge, their point of power and use such to improve their living. I vision for a world where individuals will experience less of tumult, less of war or any form of violence.
While I meditate and draw my guide, an inner spirit asked me: “Is it possible for women to enjoy life without violence, tumult and war? What about the global war on women, the civil, political, economic and social denial? What about the girl-child whose genital organ is mutilated to reduce her level of sexual enjoyment? What about the rural women, the likes of my mother who till the land all through life, farming to get food sustenance for her family and yet she do not have access to own any land?
Just a look at this case I have on hand: Baby Blessing is a girl-child born in 2010. Two months after her birth, her father Mr. Onyebuchi Madujibe had a protracted illness. All resources meant to nurture baby Blessing were diverted to treating the sick father. For lack of proper attention, baby Blessing became sick. The father died five months after. Her mother Chidinma, a widow under 28 years is uneducated and living in fear. The family of the late husband subjected her to very harsh conditions on the reason that they are following traditions of treating a widow.
Chidinma and baby Blessing are presently homeless. They are denied access to the late Onyebuchi’s house, entitlement from his work place, bank account and any other estate of late Onyebuchi. Chidinma is a woman and has no right to claiming property. Baby Blessing is a girl-child and in Igboland, girl-children are culturally excluded from inheriting property.
Baby Blessing is about 14 months old. She looks pale and sick. She looks so malnourished. She has stunted growth. She never crawls nor walks. Baby Blessing is likely to develop a disability.
I have a vision where women are no longer discriminated against. My vision is for a world where women no longer face marginalization on the basis of ‘gender’, a world where the girl-children will have inheritance rights, a world where persons are no longer treated in discriminatory manner because they are women or because they are disabled, a world when my country Nigeria will make it compulsory that every couple, no matter the religion or culture, must go through court wedding, a world when my country will domesticate the signed and ratified UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women? Domestication of such a legal instrument is urgently needed to fight the case of baby Blessing and her widowed mother Chidinma.
Becoming a VOF Correspondence I believe will offer a whole lot of empowerment, motivations, exchange of skills for voiceless women, which I represent, to speak out in order to effect the desired change. I see World Pulse a burden sharer, a rallying point and VOF Correspondence field workers bringing in first-hand information and experience, finely woven together for a better world for women.
To my community, there will be increased awareness and sensitization for women to share stories, build relationships and connect with communities around the world. I strongly need a queue into the VOF processes – the mentoring, the nurturing, the courage to take back my feminine stance and the associated transforming powers. I need to squarely face the hurdles, squarely engage in the activities to assist in accomplishing my dreams. The VOF is so appropriate to accomplish my dreams, the time is now!
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