Security for me means to live in an environment where one feels save, where there is no abuse, enough food, medical facilities, right use of technology, limitted threats of war and crisis, less human trafficking and a sense of operating and expression to full capacity.
Looking at our world today, one is tempted to say there is no such thing as security. But to the contrary, i believe peace and security is attainable. It all starts with individuals making a concious commitment to create an enironment where security can exist.
As a woman, i have lived almost every form of insecurity, but i can say it has given me a better perspective and also enlightened me on how security in its different forms can be achieved. My struggles with insecurity has made me stronger and has spured me to make conscious choices that influences and can bring about better security to women apart from myself.
I grew up in an environment where there was always shortage of everything including food and means of education. It is really an insecurity to not know when or if you are going to have your next meal or if you will be able to continue school.
I have also been in an abusive relationship and have met women who have been in one. You dont know if you will survive the next beating.
Right now i am in a region of Cameroon where there is a crisis. People getting killed, loss of loved ones, property, families scattered and some living in bushes because of political crisis and insecurity. Living in constant fear of stray bullet hitting you or loved one, harrassment and displacement.
Insecurity has devastating effects and impact to a home. There is no hope of achieving any success in a home where there is no security because of constant fear and animosity, children not brought up properly because there will be lack of descipline where there is no security. My family had to scatter to all direction because of lack of security, respect and indiscipline.
My children have to grow up with one parent because i had to leave their father and the burden of childcare becomes very heavy on a single parent.
Insecurity in my country especially the two regions where the crisis is taking place has led to a lockdown of schools that keep our children without education, teachers of private schools like me have lost their source of income and are unable to provide for themself and family. At this point, the future looks bleak because the environment is not condusive to any form of creativity and the ability of individuals to express themself to full portential.
I can say, at each level of a challenge to my security, i have learnt and decided that security at all its forms is a fundamental ground for the growth of individuals, home, family or a community, without which life tends to be just filled with a succession of one fear to the other,and therefore not to be left to chance.
Getting over fear of insecurity and embracing conscious activities to bring about security in my community has been what has given me strength.
Engaging in group talks and platforms for development, peace and security. Signing up in womens platforms like Wold pulse is a possitive step.
In my bit to bring about food security, education, medical assistance especially to those living in rural areas, from 2012, i started organising women mostly in rural areas into groups where they can jointly carry out agric ventures which enables them to learn, acquire land, tools, funds to farm in large scale. These groups also share information amongst members, learn crafts for personal and business purpose therefore empowering its members. The groups also serve as a platform where they can table problems they face as a community and take to authorities.
Secondly, i organise small meetings to discuss sanitary practices, cheap source of protein and child nutrition, family planning, teach first aid especially where there is no medical facility, educate women concerning domestic abuse, the importance of educating the girl child and peace talks like settlement of dispute.
I believe women influence the society more because they are the ones mostly invovled in child upbringing. So influence a woman and you influence the children and the community and the future of the country.
This is to say women have an active part to play in the security of a people. From the base, we as women should look for ways to help other women obtain a life where they can be educated, have food security, know how to deal with abusive situations, become financially empowered and we can be sure of stable children and a stable future.
With the involment of partners who can actively support training programs, creation of centers and small enterprises at strategic corners of communities that can employ women will go a long way.