Duration :90 Minutes
Date and Venue: Harriet Tubman Learning center -New York USA.
Theme “How to prevent bullying among women & build a strong sisterhood
- Networking and breakfast
- Opening and Introduction of Participants
- Why women hate women (Bullying among women)
- Building a sisterhood
- Introduction of World Pulse
- Feedback and sharing stories
- Closing remarks
The training was attended by a group approximately 20 mother plus a gentleman from around the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan New York. The principal of the school said,” these women are suffering from deeply rooted problems like domestic violence, cultural beliefs, low self-esteem, insecurities and different forms inner demons which all manifest in the form of bullying”. Inspired by my personal story of growing up as a victim of bullying, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to honor the invitation on April the 8th 2016 to be a guest speaker at a breakfast conference at Harriet Tubman Learning center in downtown New York.
The morning started with breakfast served by the school and a networking mix to meet and greet each other. This was followed by introduction where each person introduced themselves even though the principal introduced since I was the guest speaker.
Then we jumped right into our first session started with an ice breaking question,” why do women bully women? Here participants were required to share their answers with the rest.
Here were some amazing answers from participants.
Carol said, “Out of my personal experience, a woman in a position of authority do not want to give other women especially the younger ones the chance or opportunity to grow”.
2) Linda said, “Women are threatened by others, as such they resort to either the blame or shame game! My take, when you are confident about who you are, you don't feel threatened by anyone, rather you see opportunities to grow or to be of help. That will make us work together and not against each other”.
It is a mentality. A gossip will attract a good gossip, a jealous person will attract a jealous person, a talkative will attract a talkative even if you seem quiet. We attract who we are even as friends. Women who see other women as problems are the problems. And if they feel men are better that is fine”.
John our lone male participant argued that women talk too much and there is high rate of jealousy among them”.
Bee said, “Most women are not humble as far as their fellow women are concerned and some do not always want to accept the fact that their mates can succeed to lead them”. From Mary, “The truth is that the greatest enemy of a woman is a woman”.
When the principal of the school invited me, she told me frankly that the group of women she wanted me to meet are parents who bully and quarrel a lot among themselves. With this in mind and after hearing from them about why women bully others, I asked them to get into pairs of ten in an activity called chithat.
In this activity, they were asked to sit face to face looking at each other straight in the eye and then each person will have two minutes to share their inner demon with the other.
After the getting different options on why women bully others and the group activity, it was time to share how we could collectively solve the problem.
The question for session 2
How we could develop an inner understanding that will channel negative emotions away from feelings of jealousy in order to build a strong sisterhood?
Once again all participants were encouraged to share their views on how the problem could be solved. All their answers plus mind are listed below.
Here is a good place to start.
- Change-of mentality /start with self/individual
- A good place to start will be to re-defining yourself by knowing yourself.
- Love thyself
- Believe in yourself
- Educate yourself
- Confidence in yourself
- Be humble enough to ask. No know knows everything.
- Give your life/your past/your changing body an interpretation that will empower you.
- Change the habits and things you can change and live the rest
- No competition/comparison/invest time in yourself
- Create a sisterhood
- We all have great gifts and talents. We are all unique and special in our own right and should embrace our stories and celebrate our imperfections joyfully, completely and with pride. The world has room for all of us. No need for strife, jealousy or hatred.
Many of these women complain about the lack of from in other women, reason they do not open up about themselves. They all had worries about other women laughing at them or using their weaknesses against them.
This was where I came in strongly to introduce the world pulse community as a safe harbor where women can speak freely without fear of retribution, connect with other women from around the world, gain leadership skills and roles through training and unique online leadership programs, read and author online content that meets their needs and interests and be empowered to believe in the power of their own voices.
I extended an invitation and encouraged them to join the community and unite with thousands of individuals, organizations, and key influencers in the global social change sector. And also shared my personal story of growing up as a teen mother who faced all sorts of bullying and how world pulse provided me with a platform where I could share my story without the fear of being laughed at or judged.
Outcomes of Training:
- Bullying among women was well defined and understood and agreed that is is a problem that must be solved.
- They were well equipped with different measures they can take use stop bullying and instead focus on building strong and healthy sisterhood.
- Participants were able to open up about themselves and shared their personal stories
- Participants got the basic idea of story sharing and how to engage themselves with social media to share stories, ideas and pictures related to child marriage.
- Participants praised such a website like world pulse and appreciated the invitation to join and be able to share their stories.
- One of the best things that can happen to a motivational speaker is when his/her audience don't only see and hear you but feel and relate to you. The moments we shared were deep, as all these women, with a gentleman included all related in one way or the other and were able to open up and share their inner demons with the rest of us.I was blown away and left so fulfilled. But in that moment my purpose in life was reinforced. I learned that my contribution to the world especially the world of women really matters, because when I got to my home after the conference, I received a text from one of the sisters which read as follows,
"Miss Claire, thank you for coming. My life will never be the same again. You just save my life. My life has been a mess. I have been thinking about ending all until you shown up and gave me a reason to live".
I have always been reminded of a quote Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale-Nigeria
"No woman can lift a woman out of poverty and still remain poor. When you lift a woman, you are lifted too. When you empower other women, you become empowered, when you train other women on skill acquisition, you become trained too and when you mentor a woman, you become an expert in public speaking and coaching. When you do it for a woman, you have done it for several women and at the same time, you did it for yourself".
Difficulty and Strategy for Next Training:
I had two Spanish speaking participants without an interpreter.
I felt terrible that they were just sitting in the audience but not understanding me.However, one of the participants volunteered to record and give a Spanish interpreter to interpret and share with the two ladies.
As a strategy for next time, we agreed the school principal that an interpreter be notified and be present before we start the workshop. That way all participants join in discussions and benefit at the same time.
The event ended on a beautiful note with a picture taking session and an invitation to come back again.
Marie-Claire N Kuja