A few years back while counseling a friend of mine, a victim of domestic abuse, I was taken back when she blurted out suddenly “why don’t you write about it”. She was fully aware that this was not going to change her situation in any way still she wanted me to do it. It was more about voice oneself. She wanted me to be her voice.

I understood her more clearly when I joined Pulsewire where I was overwhelmed by the voices of scores of women. They were speaking not only for themselves but also on behalf of many of their kind. The treasure of women that I found in Pulsewire bubbling with ideas and thoughts made me want to reach out to more of them at my place and at Pulsewire too.

This wasn’t always so. After passing out from the Journalism School I tried to stay away from the women issues. There were mainly two reasons. For one I was afraid of being labeled as a writer of women issues. Two, the first thing the people I worked with suggested was women issues (they were all men). I was afraid of being considered incapable of handling other issues and their suggestion reinforced my fear.

But then a time came when I made up a mind of my own. I understood no one can do it better. A woman can be best understood by a woman. So I joined WINGS, an organization of women radio producers whose focus is “Raising Women’s Voices through Radio Worldwide”. I also got the Sanjay Ghose Media Fellowship: 2008-09 for which I did a series of articles on Kashmiri Women “Setting Examples amidst conflict”. I tried to bring out the stories of women in Kashmir to a wider audience. I started working for a few women’s news organization. I was also awarded the UNFA Laadli Media Award 2009-10 for gender sensitive reporting. I was selected for the Voices of Our Future Correspondents 2009 programme of World Pulse where I learnt a lot about how to use my voice and resources to make an impact.

What I have also learnt so far is that it isn’t so easy particularly in our culture to express oneself freely. It can get quite difficult at times but is not impossible though. One wonders how despite education and success women are still afraid to come out. How could one explain the helplessness of a young educated working girl who is at the mercy of her abusive husband. The place I belong to is a conflict region making the women more vulnerable.

I want to represent the women of my place who have been battling daily for their existence. On my part as a journo I have been trying to bring forth the voices of these women. As a Board member I will like these women to tell their own stories, not only tell but also act, not only act but succeed. I have been particularly awed by the women of Africa whose stories have made me feel like ‘taking a bow. As a Board member I want to see more and more such stories coming from my place. I would also like more and more interaction between the women of different countries on Pulsewire. With all the differences we still have so much in common. There is so much we can learn from each other and there is so much we can achieve together. A wonderful exchange of ideas and resources can lead to some impact in the lives of both. There are so many things that cropped up in my mind after joining Pulsewire like, What am I doing? Where am I going? And what possibly could I do? I would like more and more women to start pondering on that.

The simple joy of being HEARD can change so much in one’s life and as a Board member I will act as a facilitator not only with the women of my region but for women from every corner of the world.

I know this is a great responsibility to shoulder but I assure I am going to give it my best shot.

Comment on this Post

Comments

Nusrat - So glad you accepted the invitation/challenge from your friend to write. And that you're still writing. And still saying yes to all these opportunities to lead! "Battling daily for their existence"... great way to put it. Yes, how do we speak for all women in that place, wherever it is, on this planet? I think... we keep saying yes.

Good luck with everything! -S

The plight of women are so overwhelming. We need space and bridges to download all these . Gender based sexual violence among other human violation characterize the woman we are struggling to give a voice and a future.By saying yes to the distress call of a bartered woman Nusrat, you listened to many women. Women need someone outside there ...to listen to our stories and assure us there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Keep listening and saying yes we shall be free and free indeed.

Anne Khadudu Baraza, CEO- Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme +254 729880651/ 020 2602803 !27-00502 Karen, Nairobi Kenya

Thanks for the understanding. I am really inspired by the stories of women from Africa because of Pulsewire and Half the Sky. We have so amny wonderful women on Pulsewire from Kenya and the Press Institute is also starting a programme in Kenya.

And yes we shall be free.

Regards

Nusrat

Nusrat, You have already been such a strong advocate for women in your region and for all women living in conflict areas. They are the most silent and so your work becomes even more important. I understand your hesitancy to cover "women's issues" and even here at World Pulse we did not want to be seen as covering women's issues but instead cover global issues through the eyes of women. A perspective that represents the unreported half of the world's population.

All the best with your application. It will be a difficult choice indeed. Janice

Thanks Janice I know it is going to be difficult. I have gone through this before. This time I intend to forget about it all. I apply that is all :)

Love

Nusrat

And yes Thanks for pushing me and for all the love and encouragement. You know I have changed so much since the day I wrote the first assignment of the application process for VOF thanks to all the wonderful women of Pulsewire/WP. I know it has made the same effect in the lives of so many women.

Keep going you all.

Love

Nusrat

Nusra thats touching, as the woman clearly asked, 'who will speak for me'! Congrats on engaging in the not so enticing journey by deciding to write about women, make their stories known regardless of any labels that might come with this!

Great work!

Sophie Ngugi

I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the sky

www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com/ www.sophiengugi.com

Dearest Nusrat,

It's so great to read your application here today and to learn the story of how you came to be a champion for women's rights through journalism. Thank you for sharing this, because I think it speaks to many women who are fighting for equality in the workplace and at home. Women who have to work hard to gain respect from their male counterparts and want to be treated as an equal, but who also want to champion for women everywhere. It's a fine balance. But you have demonstrated beautifully that championing for women's rights doesn't have to be a sacrifice - it can be an edge. You have been such a leader and active participant in the community!

In friendship, Jade

Thanks Jade, it is really difficult. I try to see it in a positive way. For example when I am the only woman among so many men in some functions of my organisation I try to feel proud rather than feeling awkward.

Thanks for pushing me and for all the love and encouragement.

Lots of Love

Nusrat

Dearest Nusrat,

I am glad that you have finally decided to apply for the World Pulse community board members. From the very beginning of our training, I am very inspired from the way you write the issues and will love to hear more in the future. You are my inspiration and encourgement.

All the best dear!

With Love and RegardsSunita Basnet

Thanks darling. I am really inspired by you as well. You are amazing. Keep doing your good work . You have all my good wishes. I see u shining.

Love

Nusrat

Nusrat Your story is universal for women everywhere - finding the balance between respect for the past and hope for the future, between expectations and all that you are capable of. All of the awards you have received have been well earned and your continued strength and courage are inspiring. Thank you for your example.

Love Debra

Debra

Thanks Debra,

Been missing you but was so caught up in so many things that I couldn't mail you. All the wonderful women on WP are an example.

Lots of love

Nusrat

Nusrat dear,

I'm so glad that you applied. It was a joy to read this piece, as has been many others you have written in the past. You are a powerful, incredible woman. Thank you for dedicating your time to women's empowerment and change. Know it is happening, and you are a vital part of it!

Be Well Sister,

Jody

talented and I love your writing. to me you are called to be a journalist, an eye opener and through your work, the lives of many women have been spared and are yet to be spared from the violence which surround them. Congratulations on your achievements and all the very best.

I love you.

How heart warming that you are working on behalf of all of us! I think that you are a perfect example of the Feminine Rising in all of us and I celebrate you! Keep speaking up and speaking out!

Love K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Nustat, I don't think you'll make it!!! No one does that easilly! Talking from far away place? Who is going to hear you? Did you make a research as to learn the past border representatives? What decissions can you bring? What resources can you provide? How many people and organisations do you know? Do you have enough power to stay who you are among those that are different from u? You have no money, you have no abilllity to understand all this people.. Did you travel a lot? did you live through their stories?

Do you know who you are and why you want to do that? Where is your personal life?

Sory, Nusrat, but your place isn't there... You have been the most unispiring person to read about....

No luck, no luck , no luck! I don't believe it...

WorldPulse Media Corresspondent

Thank you Victoria. I am really touched by your honesty. And that is how I like things to be. I am not so unclear in my thinking :) and I have purposedly tried not to make things appear what they are not.

Love

Nusrat

Dear N U S R A T,

I hope you were not angry with my insincere post. I just tried to put up my mind and see how would somebody who was totally against your cause, an enemy or just an envious person would react to make you feel bad...

There was not intend to harm you! I learned actually that it is hard to find such things...

Besides, your kind reply made me feel frustrated.

If I was to choose among many applicants - you'd be on the win!!!

Lots of luck!!!

And please forgive...

Luv, Victoria

WorldPulse Media Corresspondent

Dear Victoria,

I tell you I was really amused. You know the feedback I always got on Pulsewire has been sweet and it was really amusing to find something to the contrary. I had my doubts and questions but two mails made them cower in a corner. Thanks Jade and Janice. I love u all. I have often wondered if anyone found problem in my posts, writing and thinking. Afterall we are not alike.

You know what my editor recently said about my controversial story. She said " In my opinion the more flak we receive the better".

It's so easy to hurt but so difficult not to get hurt. And let me tell me there are plenty of people out there ready with venom. Interesting you will find some spitting it for no reason or motive. Remember truth is stranger than fiction.

I really liked your feedback. and I meant every word of my reply. I was really touched :)))))))))) I really like the assumption u made and the following reaction. A great try.

Hope we meet in soon and in real.

Lots of love

Nusrat

Victoria, When I first started reading your comment, I thought "this is not like Victoria" then understood what you were saying. I then read Pooza's journal entry about her battle for an education in Nepal (http://www.worldpulse.com/node/20251) and it reinforced how young girls hear these words every day, around the world. I am so glad Nusrat has the strength and confidence to stand up for herself and not allow such words to dissuade her from her goals. Now we just need to build up all our other sisters around the world so that they are not discouraged from following their dreams.

p.s. Love your new photo. p.s.s. Good luck, Nusrat!

Thanks Janice. One needs a shake once in a while ;)

You know I was like that when I was young then there was this lean phase and I guess I am getting back to my old self. And Pulsewire and all of you have a contribution in it. Thank u all.

Love u all.

Nusrat

Dear Nusrat

I love your post...the way you weave the story...like always! You have been such a huge inspiration to me for this one year..and you keep inspiring me more:)

All the best with everything (including the application)

Love Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

I admire your strength, determination and advocacy to bring awareness to such horrible crimes of abuse. I feel your words and your pain. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Mia