Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation are some of the women related pandemics, that has undermined women and girls’ rights to bodily integrity, human dignity, sexuality, security and tranquility. My personal vision is to create an enabling healthier community where men, women, children, local leaders, government leaders is standing up, speaking out and act. My community vision is big but it's very clear!
My ideal community envisions us, women to be protectors of our children from being defiled, she protects herself from being raped, know the signs and symptoms of their children who have been defiled, spend time with their children and offer guidance, protect her children by not sending them out late in the evening, not to settle cases outside the law, with perpetrators as it only keeps her child and other children in danger and show care and support for survivors.
My ideal community envisions men who to gain respect; he supports and protects women and children rather than being an abuser. He who believes that a man is not justified in raping women and defiling their own/ community children, that girls are “asking for it” by dressing “suggestively”, he has to do what his peers are doing in order to fit in with them, that frustrations from poverty, drugs and idleness are to blame for his behaviour, violence against women is a family/domestic issue that should not be interfered with and one that believes that sexual, physical and psychological violence is a normal part of any relationship between a man and a woman.
My ideal community envisions children as the most powerful! Not to be judged as powerless because of their size and ‘easy to lure’ nature. They believe it’s not their fault that they are being defiled, it’s not cool to engage in behaviours such as watching porn at video dens, it’s not okay to take payment in exchange for sex, they should not be afraid to report cases of sexual abuse due to threats from perpetrators and fear of reprisal. They should know what to do should they be sexually violated; know the difference between a sexual touch and friendly touched and that it is wrong for their parents/ relatives/ neighbours to touch them sexually.
Governments, local leaders and donors hold the structures for services. I envision the figure heads playing their part in reducing the incidences and impact on sexual and gender based violence through helping to raise awareness, improving the ability to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate cases and providing victims with medical and psychosocial support to enhance their reintegration into their respective societies. I also envision local economic empowerment plan, better education and less and less donor funding.
Voices of Our Correspondents will help me achieve my vision through sparking action as it will give me an opportunity to speak out current behaviours and beliefs to trigger desired behaviours. This will be done through cross pollinating learning’s, share ideas, take note of lessons learnt and celebrate successes. On this platform, the community that I envision is possible. Voices of our Correspondents is like a passport to being heard, build hope, making a difference and leaving long lasting marks to women. Through this journey, I’ve met people who have inspired me to realize my goals, I will get informed to expand my knowledge and experience on women issues, get focused through identifying my passion in reducing incidences of sexual and gender based violence in my community, get connected to know my resources and networks, get moving to action in creating my action plans or a project idea and lastly, having a lasting impact to my ideal community through my engagement in becoming one of the voices.
This opportunity will count each of us responsible including governments and local leaders and donors, for a supportive, accountable, responsible and a sustainable community-My ideal community.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.