Women: The Stigmatized Group, the Living Goddesses for Change

Celine
Posted August 28, 2011 from Nigeria

In very many societies, women are goddesses. The goddesses are attributed to human existence, fertility, production, brightness, love, caring, healing, health, wealth, beauty, etc. But in the same societies, misfortunes are tagged to women. Women are stigmatized when there is misfortune. In very many traditional environments, if a child is sick, the cause of sickness is attributed to the mother. In my traditional environment, if a girl stays long before getting married, the mother is stigmatized. The unmarried ladies dare not come out to public places. If they do walk on the road, a popular question will be “who is her mother?” and she is not married?”

The same stigma goes worse for persons living with disabilities. Disabilities are always seen as curse falling on a family because of their ‘sin’. Deep down in the family, whatever that is responsible for the ‘misfortune’ is pushed to the mother. She takes responsibilities because she puts all resources and energy at her disposal to make sure the child survives. In my place, there is a popular saying that when a child is good, the father takes glory and when it is bad, the mother takes the blame or shame. This is not a mere saying, it is a practical reality.

Today my mother remains my best and closest friend because she refused to heed to advice to do away with me when I was a child and very sick. It was said that I bring shame to my family by living with disability. “Moreover she (me) is even a girl”. I vouch in my heart to reverse the thinking of society around me. I refuse to live a life of pity. I refuse to be pushed down by the situation of disability. I strive to live above challenges and circumstances that will not bring the best in me. I encourage and inspire a lot of people, caring for the less opportune persons through my various activities. I endeavour to contribute my knowledge and skills to improve life anywhere I am. Today I make my mother proud. She is proud of me and tells everybody about me. She sees me as her major source of happiness and will never agree to exchange me with any physically abled person. She faced and won every challenge in every fight she fought for my upliftment. Today she is a reference point in the area of disability and parenting. Yes, the woman (women) in my mother are living goddesses for change.

Celine Osukwu Divine Foundation for Disabled Persons, Nigeria.

Comments 42

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Usha K.C.
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

My darling celine ,,, I am touched by your feeling dear. I am feeling so proud to have you in my life through this Worldpulse. you are really an inspiration to all. Sister I am always here for you!! love and a big hug ..

cheers!

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Thank you darling Sister. I also feel proud about you. I cherish the friendship here at pulse wire. We will keep communicating. We will keep raising our voices.

Love, Celine

Diane Dillon
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Celine I have sent you my address and phone please call collect if you like. It is now 9am sunday agust 28. my email is ddenlighten@hotmail.com I will email you poems I Have written and other items

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Diane,

My warm regards and lots of love to you. Thank you for accepting my friendship request, for the email and telephone number. I will give you a call from here. Sometimes it is cheaper. My personal email address is cosukwu@yahoo.com If it works out for me, I hope to be in Nova Scotia next year for a development course. I could not come this August because the time is short for visa processes. The school promised to take me next year.

I wait for the poems and other items

God's blessings upon you and your family.

Celine

Purnama Lestari
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Celine,

It's nice to read your story about PWDs (person with disabilities). I currently studying about this issue at my college. This makes me wonder why community is always stigmatized. It shaped from their beliefs (which is truly wrong) as you mentioned and many people with disabilities live in poverty line. So that they are basically underestimate by others. It has been raised for decades. I have some stories about this, my lecturers were told me a lot projects around the world regarding how to empower person with disabilities especially for the women. It is also related to the gender. Keep up the good work for you, I'll support and send my prayers!

Sincerely, Tari.

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Tari,

Yes, I agree with you, all over the world, people with disabilities live below poverty line. The WHO and UNDP has written on that using the yardstick of living below US $1 per day. PWDs living in developing countries are worse hit by poverty since there is no social security, no job provisions, no housing provisions, etc for the PWDs. Above all PWDs hardly gain good or averagely well-paid jobs no matter the level of education. Societies and employers discriminate against PWDs. They are stigmatized as 'good for nothing' most times. Absolutely, it is worse with women as they face discrimination on the basis of disability and gender. You can read one of my articles titled the place of women with disabilities in Nigeria in my journal. I wrote it out of my personal experience. Empowerment is the key issue and when a woman with disability is empowered, she sees her self worth, value herself and would not like to go begging on the street. She will find alternative to alms begging.

Thank you dear Tari for your reactions.

Love, Celine

gugibabu
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Thanks for writing about this and sharing your experience with us. We are supporting you! It is true that in many societies women get all the shame and blame, but we have learned to rise above the most difficult challenges. As a daughter of a single mother, I have seen how much blame my mother has taken for being single. She is my hero because she raised two kids by herself and is able to live each day with strength. She has an inner strength few have in this world.

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Yes sister, we are all heroes at our various levels. Thank you for your support. It is high time we women applied our inner strength to change situations for better.

Cheers sister Celine

Monica Clarke
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dearest sister Celine - Your note gave me such strength! Thank you for sharing. The world is a brighter place with you in it. I am proud to be your friend here on pulsewire. Lots of loving and hugging and strength from Monica

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Sister,

Thank you for sending your love and encouragement all the way from France. I am happy that you are able to get something from my note. I receive the love, hug and strength with appreciation.

Lots of love, Celine

kenyasue smart
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Sister Celine

You have my greatest admiration

more love to you

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Thanks dear Sister for words of encouragement.

Warm regards, Celine

Rosie PIOTH
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Celine,

Thank you for sharing! It is true that women are stigmatized in many societies, even though the latter (nations) also recognize its importance! An anecdote. In 2009, during the celebration of International Women's Day in Kinshasa in the DRC, the national football team in the country that gave one away game, this was the final of the African Nations Cup, with the players playing at home and not abroad, I was saying that the DRC team won the final! But it was not listening all the comments that followed the national joy, "because all the women were dressed in cloth now that the gods were merciful to the team to give them the victory .. .. " Making reference to the fact that the International Women's Day in the DRC and many African countries, is often limited to compulsory use of a new woven cloth for the occasion, and the next day, every woman is recovering in jeans , skirt and any other place.

You're right, when no one sees your value, you are subject to many of denigration, but when you succeed in spite of your claim you or your disability (s), even those who denigrated you yesterday, have to recognize your worth and accept your success!

Good luck in your fight!

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Rosie,

Thank you so much dear sister.

Celine

Maria
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Celine,

this is what we call the Strength of a Woman. You are an inspiring model for all of us.

Love from Italy

Maria

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Maria, Thank you for your comment. Lots of my love.

Celine

Carlotta
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

I really salute you for standing up and speaking on behalf of people with disabilities. Some expect people to feel sorry for them, others hide because they fear the stigmatization that comes with it. Thank you for asserting your place under the sun God bless you.

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Living a life of pity offers no solution to the multiple challenges. Hiding for fear of stigmatization goes with depression and a life of dejection which may do more damage to the body. Thanks to Jensine and the world pulse team for providing the platform. Voices of women from the most disadvantaged cgroups should also be heard.

God bless Sister.

Celine

Ekko
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

My dear Celine,

You are such an amazing woman. It is the hardest thing to stand against the masses but stand you do, even strive. Your words of power will forever ring in my mind and remind me of the strength that is possible in adversity. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ekko

Celine
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Dear Ekko,

Thank you for your nice comment. Your words of encouragement will always remind me to be strong and courageous in all situations.

Thank you Celine

CHRISTINE OKOTH
Aug 28, 2011
Aug 28, 2011

Hi celine, I admire your courage and strenght. You are a mentor and a motivator. Keep up the good work. Christine

Celine
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

Hi Christine,

Nice words! Thank you

sunbo55
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

Congratulation Celine for being determined to fullfil your dreams. All women must strive to be virtous and look down on the victimisation and other negative issues facing women.

Women are special species from God. We have the power to endure all things and be successfull at the same time.

We women must appreciate and recognise the power we have to make the world a peaceful place to live in.

Celine
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

Dear Sunbo,

Absolute truth my sister. Determination is key to fulfilling dreams.

Hin Kunthea
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

I really admire you. You really strong.

Kunthea

Celine
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

Thank you sister Hin. We live to inspire each other. I appreciate you.

Celine

Vivian Emesowum
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

O my dear sister,

I give a standing ovation to you for the courage taken to narrate your story. Coming in contact with you is one of the good things that has happened to me this year. You are a strong woman and a hardworking one. The child that was supposed to bring shame to the family is now the pride of her community. I am proud of you. Thank you for sharing.

Celine
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

My dear, How are you today? I am also happy I know you, you are a woman with zeal and determination. How is your job and family?

Hugs

Celine

anisha pokharel
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

elder sister, u are the symbol of a true woman! How hard we try but disability has been a matter of curse specially to women..like a saying goes_ one who tries to walk, falls first!" You have done it! You give us the courage to try harder to bring a change! Disability isn't concerned physically, it is concerned mentally!

Celine
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

Anisha dear,

Yeah we just need determination and focus to make the change. The door is open to any one who knows where she is going. Let's keep raising our voices! Change must come.

Love, Celine

Olanike
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

You are truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a living story, so full of life, I felt the life in every word I read. To say the least, I am proud of you and all that you stand for and represent. I salute your doggedness and courage. You are a rare and true symbol of Womanhood. Truly, you are a role model. By all rights, you are a Heroine. You have my love and support and I will love to stay connected with you!

Lots and lots of love and hugs!

Olanike

Celine
Aug 29, 2011
Aug 29, 2011

Thank you sister Nike. I already sent a friendship request to you. Just accept it so that we communicate more. I hope we will meet someday. We will share a lot of things together.

Regards, Celine.

Toyin Adurodija
Aug 30, 2011
Aug 30, 2011

The challenges you went through as a child and came over very strong means you are a very determined person. Women who are passing through similar or any discriminating traditional practices against women should borrow a leaf from Celine. She went through it and came out stronger.What a challenged.

Celine
Aug 30, 2011
Aug 30, 2011

Thank you for sparing your time to read and make comment.

Celine

Laura Boumsong
Aug 31, 2011
Aug 31, 2011

My dear Celine , You know what the book of Psalms 118 verse 22 says " The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone'". You are a chief conerstone for your family and community. You are a real warrior, an inspiration, a hero, and a blueprint for other. More love and strength RESPECT sister Celine Laura

Celine
Sep 01, 2011
Sep 01, 2011

My dear Sister Laura, God bless you! Many thanks for your inspiring comment. Love. Celine

Laura Boumsong
Aug 31, 2011
Aug 31, 2011

My dear Celine , You know what the book of Psalms 118 verse 22 says " The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone'". You are a chief conerstone for your family and community. You are a real warrior, an inspiration, a hero, and a blueprint for other. More love and strength RESPECT sister Celine Laura

Suha Ayyash
Sep 01, 2011
Sep 01, 2011

Wow seeing all this care and love and people are getting together talking and sharing this is just makes all the goodness on this earth to be clearer and all the goodness to be reattracted into our life

Suha

Celine
Sep 01, 2011
Sep 01, 2011

The joy is absolutely overwhelming sharing the love and care for one another here.The reactions are so encouraging. The inspiration is unquantifiable, thanks to every one. I am proud to be a pulsewirean! Suhaayyash, great observation!

Thanks

Celine

aanurot
Sep 06, 2011
Sep 06, 2011

My dear sis from Nigeria, your words are more than statements, but inspirations from the pure heart of a strong woman, who understands that world want the diamond in her but does not want to accept the mud from which it comes. I pray that your mum will live long to enjoy more of hard labor and tell the story with tears of joy.

Am proud of you, for demolishing the wall of Jericho. But tell me who is not challenged? Every human living today face one challenge or the other, but human character only speak of the ones that the eye can see, what happens to those covered by clothes, to those embedded in the human heart or the daily challenges that have cut short the existence of those that belief that they are whole.

Celine, this might be of interest, it is a link on online course on Disability, Sexuality, &Rights, organised by CREA: http://web.creaworld.org/home.asp

Strength unto you as journey on the path of ensuring an egalitarian society.

Celine
Sep 06, 2011
Sep 06, 2011

My Nigerian sister,

Thank you for spending your time to read my writing. I so much appreciate your encouraging comments. Yeah, I also pray for my mother everyday, God bless you. I agree with you. Every person in the world has one challenge or the other? Women especially battle multiple challenges culture and societies put us through. But we speak out to share ideas and proffer solutions so that life will be a bit easier for women around the world.

I appreciate the information you offered on CREA online training. In the past, I applied for an offline training program organized in Turkey. I was selected but couldn't attend because of funding. I am contemplating applying for this before your recommendation came. Since it is online course, I will give it a trial only that I am afraid of costs and other challenges associated with internet facilities and electricity in Nigeria.

Keep safe in Abuja dear sister. Let's keep in touch.

Celine

Celine
Sep 06, 2011
Sep 06, 2011

My Nigerian sister,

Thank you for spending your time to read my writing. I so much appreciate your encouraging comments. Yeah, I also pray for my mother everyday, God bless you. I agree with you. Every person in the world has one challenge or the other? Women especially battle multiple challenges culture and societies put us through. But we speak out to share ideas and proffer solutions so that life will be a bit easier for women around the world.

I appreciate the information you offered on CREA online training. In the past, I applied for an offline training program organized in Turkey. I was selected but couldn't attend because of funding. I am contemplating applying for this before your recommendation came. Since it is online course, I will give it a trial only that I am afraid of costs and other challenges associated with internet facilities and electricity in Nigeria.

Keep safe in Abuja dear sister. Let's keep in touch.

Celine