CHANGE- such a simple six-lettered word, is it not?
The word CHANGE, though, is anything but simple; it has different levels of meanings, and every citizen of this earth has been affected by change. What matters is whether we accept it or stand up against it.
As a global citizen, here’s the change I wish to see in the global community. I currently live in Canada so let’s take a trip using Google Maps to the other half of the world. Landed in Africa, yet? Good- now let’s zoom into the heart of Ethiopia… keep zooming in until you reach the town of Assassa. Are you there yet? Fantastic- now let’s zoom in completely so that you get a street view of the town. What do you see?
It’s not a pretty sight. Beggars and the disabled litter the streets like garbage. Young girls and old women who have flocked to Assassa from the surrounding countryside are either carrying babies or loads of goods on their backs.
Let’s take a closer look at the young girls and old women. One might think that as they flock to Assassa from the countryside for the day, they might very well be flocking away from their lifestyle at home; brutal and abusive. Many women in the countryside are abused by their fathers, and then handed over in marriage to be abused by their husbands. My own grandmother is a victim of abuse; married early in age, she was beaten constantly and gave birth to her second child on her own in a hut for three days, with no one to help her. Many a times did my grandmother try to run away from the abuse, fleeing far into the desert to commit suicide, only to frantically run back to her children.
Abusing women is an old age custom in the Arsi-Oromo culture. Though it has declined over the years, there are still many women in the countryside who endure torturous abuse. In fact, I know of Oromos who have immigrated to North America and have actually brought the custom here with them, burning their wives with cigarettes and knocking their teeth out.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I have chosen to make a change in the community by standing up to those who practice this abusive custom. The main challenge is explaining why abuse is wrong; there’s a cultural mentality and narrow mindedness set in the minds of the men who commit this crime. It’s hard, arduous, and even dangerous to work around that mentality and shed light on the issue.
The solution to this challenge: SUPPORT.
I need a venue in which I can express ideas. I need a platform on which I can raise awareness. I need a network of individuals who are willing to lend a helping hand in empowering women who have endured brutal abuse all their lives. This is all World Pulse in action- it is indeed an online community that provides the most powerful tool in creating change: a network of people who listen, care, and most of all, act.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.