This conversation is going to be a little different from what I normally talk about, because it’s going to center only on girls. I’m joining this year’s efforts in the Girl Effect campaign. From the moment that we are born, we are raised with different expectations than boys. But in reality, the expectations aren’t all that different because we are all going to be making a mark on this world. Our marks may be different from those traditional male leaders that we hear about on our tvs or in our newspapers, but they will be just as strong if not stronger because we will use our “softness” as a strength.
In some parts of the world, girls will not hear these conversations going on in the society at large, simply because they are not living in the same circumstances as many of their counterparts in the developed countries. The western world has enjoyed decades of women’s rights, though in truth that has only been during the 20th century. To show the difference, Bangladesh has allowed women to participate in voting since 1972, compared to 1920 in the United States. But this is only a drop in the bucket of what women are capable of doing if they are given the chance to help improve society. Just look at some of the women who are already making a difference in medicine, government, and other disciplines all around the world.
Hear What Shumi Has To Say
If you heard and acknowledged Shumi’s words, then you have taken the first step to making a change and giving the world a much needed kickstart! What she is saying is extraordinary in the traditional agrarian-centric land where she lives, Bangladesh. She has the strength and courage to be a leader in her community, and shows other women that there is another way.
But for all of our cultural differences, women are still the same everywhere. They’re expected to get married and take care of a family. Those who want more need the courage to make it happen, just like Shumi did. In order for that to happen, a conversation needs to occur by reaching out and talking to girls who have dreams like Shumi. We need to talk to them because they may not be aware of their abilities to learn for themselves, so that they can develop their strengths and venture out into the world to make their own futures.
Shumi is a strong voice that all women can learn from. She didn’t let tradition stand in the way of creating her life as she dreamed, without the distractions of traditional expectations. While tradition provides a safety net for a community, it may not always allow the people to see that there are many different paths to take that can actually uplift their entire society. When a woman is allowed to develop herself as she sees, then she will become an asset to not only herself, but to everyone.
Women are the nurturers of the family. They are the glue and the backbone. Usually when things become difficult, it is the woman who manages to hold everyone together and provide the necessary love and support that the family needs to weather the storm. So, think how strong these girls will become if they are given the necessary tools to make their walk through life just a little bit easier: education, empowerment, encouragement, and even monetary support. Just think of what a different world we could have if these girls grew up to be leaders in all walks of life. They would be capable of anything because they would know how to use the skills, ideas, and lessons that they learned in order to create a world that they envision without the expectations of those around them.
Our world is a violent world. In some ways we have to acknowledge that a patriarchal society has created it in their image. Men are known for their brute strength and ambition to take things by force, sometimes without proper thought. If women were also given their rightful place next to the men from the beginning of any enterprise, we could help to build a world where strength and empathy work hand-in-hand. Where words such as strength and weakness are simply adjectives, and not an admonitions.
We all need to work together in order to start fixing all of the wrongs that exist in our world. Men and women have complementary skills that can help to build a balanced vision where opportunity is not a wish, but a right. How will you help a girl like Shumi in an under-developed part of the world get the resources and lessons she needs so that she will be ready to take her place in society? The world knows that these girls hold a key to this optimistic future. It’s time to prove the world right, isn’t it? Click on the logo below if you’re ready to help.
And if you still need more encouragement, then watch this video below:
Are you ready now?
Read what other blogger for The Girl Effect have to say. And thanks for listening!