I have been bottled up for so long that I became frustrated with myself, my community, my country and the African continent at large. The reason for this is not far-fetched. I do not have the courage, freedom and the right avenue/channel to air my views about our barbaric and harmful traditional and cultural practices in Nigeria. This is the plight of women in most sub-Sahara African countries. What excites me most is the opportunity I have on web 2.0 to freely and courageously speak out about our practices which persist despite their harmful nature because no one is speaking out. With this web 2.0, women worldwide are enabled and empowered in order to take decisions that impacts their lives positively, collectively fight for their rights and to challenge all forms of violence and discrimination. Women with hidden potentials to make a change are empowered to proffer solution to age-long harmful traditional and cultural practices. Boldly voicing the need and advocating for reproductive and bodily rights of Nigerian women through best practices is a solution web 2.0 brings to the global women’s movement. I will use these tools to propagate, educate, inspire and mobilize communities to stop all forms of discrimination against the women folk.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.

Comment on this Post


Thank you so much for sharing your passion to foment change in your community through Web 2.0. Your desire to be a leader comes through very strongly in your writing, and I can feel the diverse emotions you are conveying: anger, courage, pride, desire, and drive, to name a few. I would have liked to see some more specifics in this article--not everyone knows the "traditional and cultural practices" of Nigeria, and it is good practice to never accidentally make your readers feel stupid or under-informed. Similarly, I would like to hear more specifics about what you think your voice amplified Web 2.0 can do for your community. Do you have a specific problem you would like to solve first, that you think this medium works best for? As you advance in this program, these are great questions to consider in all of your journal entries.

hello, Tolulopeola - I am your listener for this week (wk. 1). Thank you for your succinct post. Plse see my comments in your personal inbox.

I agree w/ all Emma has said above. And I also agree w/ her that your emotions come through. To clarify, & taking a small liberty here, I don't think Emma meant that your readers necessarily felt stupid or uninformed. Only that there is always a risk there -- one lesson of writing is never make your reader resent you, the writer -- by making him work too hard to figure out what the writer is saying. Your English is very good, & your writing. The planet is small and grand at the same time, yes? We are so alike in our humanity - & so diverse in our cultures. How women live and what they believe/think/feel in different parts of Nigeria are things I would love to hear more about. Take us there, please, & help us understand & feel your lives. As a writer, that is a gift you offer - the word transcends time & place.

I wonder if a health tag would also be appropriate, since some of the bodily practices can cause physical and mental health adverse effects.

To carry that thought a bit further for the sake of discussion, the issue of sexuality being affected by some bodily practices and trespasses (such as breast ironing or genital mutilation, rape, etc.) has been publicized quite a bit by the peace & justice sector, but it may be that the health aspects may sway the culture as much as peace and justice advocates telling local people that they should change for the sake of women's rights. And certainly sexuality is a mental and physical health issue as much as a sociologic or political issue.

Of course, sexuality and gender identity and practices can be addressed by any sector of the activist community. What I mean to say is, it seems to me that we may be most effective change advocates when we find the reasons that will speak directly to the people participating in such practices. If we address the person's own detriments and benefits, he/she may be more willing to change than if we tell him/her he should make changes for more abstract reasons of equality, human rights, etc. Later, as the change is integrated into the culture, the participants see other , less obvious, less direct, more abstract benefits -- such as a better economy due to better women's education and contraception, for example. Then you have "buy-in" for many reasons, & hopefully the change is then fully anchored in the culture.

I would love to hear your thoughts -- and anyone else's -- on that, if you find the time to reply.

surfgirl-CA -- When we come from the willingness to love, not fear, we will see the best and highest materialize in our world. Quand nous venons à partir de la volonté à l'amour, pas la peur, nous allons voir le meilleur et le plus élevé se matérialise

You are clearly on the path of becoming a change agent and I feel like you have much to offer and contribute in the way of educating, advocating, and propagating the changes you seek! Good luck. Great job this week!