...Invading our web and non-web world. I want to see a world where women are being the change. We are being hammered with desperate statistics: “From 1/5 to 1/2 of women worldwide experience domestic violence during marriage.” “Women represent 2/3 of the more than one billion illiterate adults who have no access to basic education. The majority live in rural areas.” We're not just a statistic. Women form coops. They grow food, cook, work, nurture, and advocate together. And I'm on a quest to find all these innovative women of solutions and tell the stories of women who stopped/ helped prevent domestic violence, of literate rural women who helped build a school... I want to find the sisters who build through perseverance.

Speaking of sisters, I recently received an email forward. I don't like forwards because they usually come from the same serial email forwarders and it always has something to do with somehow, if you don't forward the email on to everyone in your contact list within three minutes of opening said forwarded email, you will have bad luck for 7 years. I normally press delete when that type of email lands in my inbox. But, the following email forward didn't get trashed. I gave it the time of day. It was titled: “Sister-chicks”.(Ok, I don't particularly like the word chick so I've removed it.) But, the forwarded email goes like this: “WE SISTERS NEED TO STICK TOGETHER - LOVE AND PRAY FOR EACH OTHER - STAND WITH AND FOR EACH OTHER - SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER - YEP - THAT'S WHAT SISTERS DO BEST!!! YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES TO TELL 10 sisters THAT YOU LOVE THEM (INCLUDING ME) BECAUSE TOMORROW'S NOT PROMISED ... I LOVE YOU! GO!!!!”

Not really sure why this one got to me! Maybe it is because I learned more sad news today. I learned that a “sister” (former colleague ) suddenly passed away at age 30 last Saturday. So I stop to think, this could have been me. I'm always trying to keep myself busy, work, work is the order of every day. My struggle is to stop for a moment. Just stop. Do something that I haven't done for a while. Like, hanging out with my mom and my ailing 85-year-old grandma. (I love them so. I grew up with just these two female role models but I don't take the time to just have a nice long hang out and tell them thank you and I love you.) So, if someone has the solution for workaholics ... let me know :)

Maybe it is also because I feel that throughout this experience with World Pulse and the Voices of our Future process, I have learned that, encouraging and supporting one another is INDEED what “sisters” do best. And, I feel that being part of this World Pulse (WP) community is empowering on its own. It's amazing how, when you find like-minded women who inspire you, you not only feel but you KNOW that you WILL achieve what you set out. Voices of our Future starts now. It should actually be, “Voices of Our [present which will change and better our] Future. Being a correspondent on WP would help me find those solutions I so desperately seek (with mentoring because, I sometimes lack the motivation to get going.)

So, if you have time (as the forward asks), please take a moment to support a sister to find a solution. It might be through your continuous encouragement on World Pulse and/or it might be through a real-world helping hand. Or, it might be through supporting a local campaign for women's empowerment.

Speaking of empowering women, please support the World March of Women in your community and throughout the world. There will be women marching to demand equal rights for women all over the world on October 17. I'll be at an event in my region. Keep your eyes peeled for stories of a special march in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support women affected by war. Check out: www.mmm2010.info )

As I move forward from my feminine support forwarded email, I'd like to thank you all. For your friendships, your comments, your virtual nods...but mostly, your courage.

You are the change and don't let anybody tell you otherwise...especially not statistics!

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.

Comment on this Post


Hey, Nelly. I stopped reading your post where you say about your mom and grandma "I don't take the time to just have a nice long hang out and tell them thank you and I love you." Well, I used to think the same way. Two years ago, when I was 33, at the height of my political activism and professional development, when I thought that soon, soon, I will spread my wings and fly high high, I didn't have the time for my mother. She would call me and ask me out for coffee, and I would just tell her "mom, I'm busy, maybe next time." Well, needless to say, next time never came. My mother, a young 56 year old woman, full of energies, who always cared for me and my daughter, suffered a stroke. The stroke left her right side paralyzed. She lost the ability of speech. Being an only daughter, I take care of her today. I spend half a day with her 4-5 times a week. I miss her old self so much. True, I didn't lose her, but she is a different person today. At first, my selfishness hurt me so much. I would cry myself to sleep for all those times I told her "no, mom, I'm busy." It is amazing that when we are forced to, we find the time. When before I couldn't spare an hour for a cup of coffee with her, today I have loads of time for her. And I didn't give up any of my activities, just rearranged my time and life differently, and gave up on some sleeping hours which I don't need anyway.

So please, call your mom, invite her for a cup of coffee, talk with her. Tell her you love her. We should never take our mothers (or other dear ones) for granted.

Hi Nelly,

I love your passion for supporting each other. You are right! It's what we do best. So is this your vision? To simply be there for each other and encourage each other? I think this is a very important vision. Women getting together to put an end to domestic violence, poverty, sex trafficking, forced marriages, etc. are all very important. But, so is building a relationship with each other, which we sometimes forget to do as we're usually busy with our own agenda.

Thanks for the reminder and thanks for sharing your story :)

Cheers, Jenn

Dear Nelly,

I too sometimes miss opportunities to do what is most important, such as take time to chat with those who are closest to me. I try to choose one truly important action each day and complete that one thing. Then it doesn't matter so much to me if I don't finish a work assignment or clean up a mess. It's the relationships that count.

It seems to me that you are building a large network of relationships through your work and your associations. I wish you the best of positive outcomes as your pursue your vision.

Your sister in the US, Jan

Jan Askin