This is my New Story For Women! What is your New Story?

Carolyn Seaman
Posted March 9, 2019 from Nigeria

Today, there are increased global efforts to achieve gender equality. A recent study indicated that when it comes to serving on the board and assuming other top leadership roles in the c-suite, it will take over 100 years for women to achieve gender parity with men[1]. This means that we are running against time; we need to work a hundred times faster and smarter to change this reality and manifest a new reality in our world. This is the time for women to dream and pursue those dreams. This is the time for women to explore opportunities with confidence and determination. This is the time for women to emerge and unleash their maximum potential. It may not be an easy road, but life is barely an easy road for anyone. Yes! So much has been said about women; they are not great at supporting one another, or women are often women’s greatest enemies. But hey! Men have not exactly done any differently. Men get in each other’s way, pull each other down and don’t really support one another sometimes. However, the world does not stop moving and men don’t easily give up. It’s time for women to break out of every limitation. Even when life happens and a woman gets burned by a fellow woman, she needs to get up and pick herself back up again. There are support systems out there for women and if you are not getting the support you need, you just might need a new environment and a new support system.

Dear Sisters! There is a world out there waiting for us to conquer! Women can thrive in politics, women can thrive in science and technology, women can thrive in architecture, women can thrive in education, women can thrive in aviation, women can thrive in any field of leadership. This is the time for women to rise up and take over the world! This is the inspiration behind my new story; I seek to invest in adolescent girls and women and actively contribute towards the movement of girls and women taking over the world by fulfilling their maximum potential and advancing their rights and interests in society. This is what fuels my passion and my work at Girls Voices Initiative. I am focused on empowering adolescent girls because I recognize that they are a vulnerable population who are often omitted in development conversations. In Nigeria, and around the world, the girl child is often mentioned in relation to a bad statistic, such as child early or forced marriage, poor education of girls, prevalent rates of gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking of girls, abduction or kidnapping of girls, the worst affected during crises - the list goes on and on. But I seek to change the narrative. In the course of our work at Girls Voices Initiative, we have begun to witness the change; we have more girls being educated about their rights and challenging traditional councils to change harmful traditional practices, and challenging other stakeholders to effect the change they desire to improve their lives. Nigeria’s girls are now winning Global STEM competitions – those are the kinds of statistics that I seek to promote.

Girls Voices Initiative is passionate about educating girls about their rights and building their capacity to lead their advocacy and champion their movement. We are succeeding in our mission as we have educated over 50,000 girls about their rights. Girls are increasingly learning about their rights as provided by the laws in the country and they are engaging public conversations to demand the protection of their rights. Today, we have our girl leaders championing advocacy for an end to child marriage, an end to gender-based violence and the promotion of girls’ education. Our girls are leading presentations, panel discussions, anchoring events and educating their peers about girls’ rights and how girls can be better equipped to report violations of their rights e.g. rape, trafficking, etc. Our recent girl led radio program on Gender Based Violence reached over 70 million people in Nigeria and around the world. In the course of the year, we seek to make girls’ voices count on critical social issues affecting them and we are working to empower and facilitate 500 girls and young women to design and produce technology resources and media content to reach 20 million Nigerians and catalyze social (behavioral and attitudinal) change towards girls and women’s empowerment and gender equality. In celebrating women’s month, we are exploring the theme: Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change and we are providing girls and women with technology skills to build a Pi Photo Booth and explore photography with Google Photos. I am particularly excited about the Women Hairdresser’s Association that we would be engaging who would be able to use the skill they learn to promote their hand-work and enterprise. This is my new story for women; to identify and take a seat at the table and if you are not given a table, set up your own table and lead!

I am so blessed to be in the vibrant community of World Pulse where I am surrounded by the world’s greatest supporters of women and their cause. I am celebrated at World Pulse and I share that beauty ‘beleza’ of sisterhood with other women in my community and around the world. As the world celebrates women this month, I celebrate all the women in the World Pulse Community, women that I have been privileged to connect with in the course of my life and work, and all the wonderful women of the world. I love you so deeply and I know that TOGETHER, we can bring the world to achieve gender equality within the next 10 years! YES, WE CAN!

 

[1] 2015 Study by LeanIn and McKinsey & Company, https://richtopia.com/sustainable-development/100-years-away-gender-equality-c-suite

This post was submitted in response to Change starts with a story..

Comments 8

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jlanghus
Mar 10
Mar 10

Hello Dear Carolyn,

Thanks for your very inspiring post and your tireless work on improving the lives and future for adolescent girls. Big kudos to you, dear! I'm wishing you so much good luck on your impressive goals and agenda for this year. I can't wait to hear more updates from you and to track your progress.

I feel very privileged to have connected with you, and yes, together we can achieve gender equality:-)

Hope you're having a great day!

Paulina Nayra
Mar 10
Mar 10

Great initiative, Carolyn. By starting them young, we will have future women who have more confidence in engaging in trades that were usually dominated and dictated by men. We need more innovators and scientists who will help solve women's problems and make everyday lives easier for womanity.

Love,
Paulna

Feka
Mar 11
Mar 11

Thanks for your sharing this inspiring post and your tireless work on improving the lives and future for adolescent girls. kudos to you! I wish you good luck on your impressive goals and agenda for this year. I can't wait to hear more updates from you

Hello dearest Carolyn,
You are truly amazing and your work has impacted so many girls. We celebrate you this month for changing and impacting many people in your community. Change begins with us if we want to see the world change and girls have a balanced opportunities.
Stay blessed my dear sister

Hello, Sister Carolyn,

You practice what you preach and therefore, worthy to be emulated.

Congratulations on your brrakthroughs and advocacies! Thank you for bringing a better tomorrow to young girls. Inspiring!

Thank you for sharing!

J Brenda Lanyero
Mar 13
Mar 13

Hello Carolyn,
This is really great.

Beth Lacey
Mar 14
Mar 14

Love your work. Yes, together, we can!

Bettina Amendi
Mar 16
Mar 16

You are my hero sister,Keep up the good work.