It’s Time to Talk

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

In 2016, the UNiTE campaign strongly emphasizes the need for sustainable financing for efforts to end violence against women and girls towards the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

One of the major challenges to efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls worldwide is the substantial funding shortfall. As a result, resources for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women and girls are severely lacking. Frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes a specific target on ending violence against women and girls, offer huge promise, but must be adequately funded in order to bring real and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.

To bring this issue to the fore, the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women’s call for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in 2016 is ‘Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls’. The initiative provides a moment to bring the issue of sustainable financing for initiatives to prevent and end violence against women to global prominence and also presents the opportunity for resource mobilization for the issue.

In support of this period of activities I’d like to share my experience. In my time of reflection I have made some interesting choices. However, with the treatment that I have received from this type of behaviour it should never be accepted.

I met a man who at first I thought was interesting and it was at a time in my life when meeting him I thought that he was nice. Things started well between us and I began to think that we were going somewhere. In my plight to make the relationship work, I found myself going above and beyond to ensure that I was doing the “right” thing. I now understand there should be comprise in a relationship. However what I did was give too much of myself and lowering my standards just to be accepted. I was in a phase where I wanted so much to please him that I disregarded my values and the image I was painting of myself because he would be happy

There were moments where I felt uncomfortable with what he wanted me to do and at that time, I was afraid that if I didn’t he would end it….I believe he noticed that because he would threaten to do it if I didn’t do what he wanted.

There were other instances where he would make decisions that affected us both without consulting me and when questioned, he got defensive and said that I don’t have to worry I just control the situation. When I decided not to follow through- he got annoyed.  Other moments occurred when I stood my ground at his requests, provided an alternative and he called me crazy for what he claimed he was saying what I had been rambling about all along – Mi ‘ead tough.

My time for redemption came when I did something wrong and that got him very upset. The request he made was his way of making things right but at that very moment, I remembered something my father said to me once “Hold yuh head high”. It was then I realized that my current situation should never be and that if I want to go I can always do so. I’m not tied to him, he doesn’t own me.

I ended it . 

Months passed and I fell for his charm again, then I realized that this second time wouldn’t work. Days after hearing him apologize and reassuring me that things would be different, he went right back to his old ways. The blatant disregard displayed for what he did in an incident that took place, was a sign that I would not be happy. I remember explaining how I felt about the past and was told that I was the reason why he was acting like that. It’s my fault.

Ending it again, I went through months of ignoring his messages, blocking him to ensure that he could not contact me after conversations that went nowhere. I must say that reflecting on what happened he did have a point; he was just being himself. I was the one that wanted so much to be someone else than myself. Since I was willing to do- what’s the issue? With this new information, I was willing to fully accept that he was NOT the one. I learnt that all that glitters is definitely not gold and I should never lower my standards to just be happy in a relationship.

With this negative experience I can say that I have grown, I’m not perfect but I’m no longer interested in him. That is one road that is impassable. I remembered our last conversation where in his plight to win me over, I was degraded. During this conversation he told me:

“You can’t afford to take care of me”

“You’re just a country girl, you’re nobody”

“The only reason why I’m talking to you is just cuz no one else is awake at this time”

If I am a girl that was conditioned by Disney to find my Prince Charming why should I settle for someone who thinks less of me? Where is the love? Looking back at that conversation I have achieved many things. Keeping those remarks in my mind I vowed then and still continue to be the best version of myself. You nah go more dan me.

I don’t  hate people  and I try not to malice either, there’s no progress to be had from that and life is too precious to waste time doing things like that.

It takes two persons to make a relationship work, as I said before I am not perfect but it doesn’t mean that I should be subjected to such treatment.

 

Sources – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism#sthash.qiqWOrla.dpuf

Mothers Day

On May 8, 2016, we celebrated the life and efforts of all  Mothers. Those that are alive, who have passed, biological and non-biological. I can imagine many of us shuffled to get the presents on time and got hints from our mothers on what they wanted and where they wanted to be.

I can recall many instances in which I’ve watched mothers conduct their duties and just stare in awe at how they did things effortlessly. They mess up at times, but watching how they fixed it is a God given gift to me.

Recently, there was a discussion about whether fathers should be celebrated on Mothers Day and this created two positions. One side agreed that they should be included; under the premise that they are single fathers taking on the responsibility of both parents. The others opposed because there is already a day for them, let us wait until that day, Fathers Day to recognize them.

Earlier this year, I was at my cousin’s baby shower and what stood out to me, was that they all spoke about one thing – Instinct. Most agreed that every pregnancy is different and the development between you and your child will also be. Your instinct will be your guide as to whether you’re doing the right or wrong thing, as you will know your child. What works and what doesn’t. However there’s nothing wrong with taking advice from others.

M

Hearing this, had me thinking about other things such as good mothers versus bad mothers. The one word that everyone can agree comes to mind when they think of mothers is nurture– mothers are nurturing. For instance in the book of Sybil where Sybil’s mother who was schizophrenic, inserted things into Sybil’s vagina causing her to be barren later in life. Many persons would think that Sybil’s mother was an evil woman.

Another instance is a mother who gives up her daughter to a man as a means of getting money, a mother who encourages her son to be involved in criminal activities as it promotes a better way of life and ignoring a child when they tell you that they are being abused by your partner. Being negative to the child when they make a mistake and  having your children sell on the street. Are all examples in which mothers would be considered bad.

Some of these instances from the onset we can see as wrong, however we must understand that it is at times the surroundings that mothers are in that promote these behaviors. If it is considered the norm in one area, it would be very hard to convince them that it is something that needs to change.

It is not easy being a mother and until we are in the situation we will never understand what it means to make decisions such as those. I find it amazing that on Mothers Day we place such emphasis on these hardworking women. That’s the thing- women over the years have been witnesses and victims to MANY circumstances. Throughout the years, I believe we as women have learnt to adapt to certain situations and when faced with peril we get an inkling of what to do to make the situation better even when balancing a job, marriage and extra curricular activities added to being a mother.

Mo

I believe that women are born with an inner lioness in them, an innate supply of strength that prepares them for situations that they may face in life. Even if they are scared, it does not show,  as they are able to mask it so that they can stand their ground and make a point. At that moment nothing else matters.

HAITIAN

I remember when there was a robbery at my family’s jerk centre and my brother and his friend was there. Our house is right next to it so my mom and I were inside. The first shot was fired because my brother ran off and the second shot was for him. At that moment, my mother ran out of the house, asking what was wrong not knowing that she actually talking to the gunman, because all she could think of was that her son was out there- it was his birthday.

Persons may say that the emphasis  we place on our mothers is too much, that it’s just a day and what’s the big fuss about. After the day we go back to our old ways. I recommend that we not limit these acts of kindness to just Mothers Day, but do it everyday.

Before you disobey your mother leading to your ‘I told you so moment’. Take a look at your mother’s activities on a daily basis. The time she rises in the morning to get you ready for your day to when you leave her to go to bed. This woman can never be repaid and her love is inevitable, undying and unchanging. Sometimes she may say things like “no go out tonight because mi dream”… at times it’s best to listen to her and just do. She may explain or may not after her instructions. However trust her  and believe that what is being said further enhances your safety.

 

Mother

 

 

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.