Introducing myself and my journal: Motivating Girls & Women to Seize Opportunities for Self-Reliance

Fatima Wahab Babih
Posted July 27, 2014 from United States

About Me: Executive Director of Girls LEAD Change, Inc., and the DIAMONDS Girls program. The inspiration to call our girls’ program by this acronym (DIAMONDS) came to me from various aspects of my life. I was born and raised in Sierra Leone, where diamonds have been the most precious natural resources and have been exploited since the Colonial era; anyone who watched the movie "Blood Diamonds" knows to what length people would go for these precious jewels. Also, in Sierra Leone, women make up 52% of the population and are the primary caretakers of children, families and communities. We therefore, perceive women as the most precious human resources; yet they are the least educated, suffered the most gruesome atrocities during the war, 1 in 8 women die in childbirth and women have less than 15% representation in Parliament and even less in other leadership positions in the country. But like diamonds, women in Sierra Leone, like those in all other African nations, are strong, resilient and continue to maintain their integrity as the most precious human resources for families, communities and their nations. I grew up with a father who loved me immensely but did not believe in western education for his daughters. I arrived in the U.S. with an 8th grade education; but by nurturing my determination, I have been able to attain this level of education. This is what I hope to pass on to all girls who are facing obstacles to education and self-reliance. I believe that girls and women can reach their highest potential when they are able to overcome negative social trends that hinder their abilities to strive. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Queens College, NY, USA); Master of Arts in Gender & Women's Studies (Towson University, MD, USA) and a Master of Arts in Legal and Ethical Studies (University of Baltimore, MD, USA). The African DIAMONDS Women, Inc., runs a youth development program (DIAMONDS Girls USA) in local communities in the U.S., coaching and mentoring inner city and other at-risk girls to overcome negative social trends and make positive choices. We also have the program in Sierra Leone, through which we provide scholarship to girls from rural villages who would otherwise not attend school. My Passions: Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and Social Justice for all. My Challenges: Resources My Vision for the Future: A world in which women enjoy equality of rights in all spheres. My Areas of Expertise: Legal research, analysis and writing; advocacy, capacity building for women and our youths.

Comments 4

Log in or register to post comments
Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Jul 27, 2014
Jul 27, 2014

I admire what you do greatly the enhancement of women and girls. What power, what strength. May we work together to be a blessing.

Fatima Wahab Babih
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 28, 2014

Ameen! Thank you Elie.

kellyannaustin
Jul 29, 2014
Jul 29, 2014

Fatima,

What wonderful work! I wonder if you would be willing to compose a piece about digital issues for our Women Weave the Web Campaign? I'd love to hear your thoughts about how technology affects your life and the lives of women around you. You can find out more information about the campaign here, http://worldpulse.com/about/blog/launching-the-digital-empowerment-phase.... It would be fabulous to have your voice join others as we think through issues around digital literacy in all its complexity.

By participating, you will be joining a global community of women speaking out on the importance of digital inclusion and empowerment for women. Your voice will be delivered to powerful decision makers such as government officials, leaders in the technology industry, and policy makers at international organizations. In addition to influencing global agendas, your submission to the campaign will open the door to incredible opportunities such as:

· Being selected to represent World Pulse at influential international forums. This is your chance to meet key players and make your voice count!

· Connecting and building relationships with grassroots women leaders around the world. Be part of a community of thousands of women speaking out on this issue!

· Exploring and sharing resources for your work on our Campaign Resources page. Find support for your initiatives from funding to volunteers and supporters!

· Getting your voice heard on a global scale! World Pulse will analyze and collate your stories to deliver recommendations to influencers and decision makers on a global scale.

· Getting visibility and support for your work. Your story could be featured on our site, included in an e-magazine, or even published by well-known media outlets!

And the 2014 Lynn Syms Prize will be awarded to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work. The prize will include a $20,000 monetary prize to be paid out over two years to support her community based work, a feature profile on WorldPulse.com, and an all-expense paid trip to speak her message in New York City. You can find more on the website, http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/www/www-women-weave-the-web-campaign-prizes

I hope you'll participate!

Wishing you peace,

Fatima Wahab Babih
Aug 04, 2014
Aug 04, 2014

Hello Kelly, Thanks so much for this invitation! I would love to participate and would like to know if there is a timeline/deadline. Fatima