Thank you to everyone who shared our blog's post announcing the first edition of our competition, particularly those who entered the competition. The International Women's Day is a special one for many men and women who aspire to see girls and women reaching out their full potential. If you're reading this blog's post, there is no doubt you're one of them. This competition stemmed from our founder's desire to promote women's economic empowerment as an EW's Champion for Change.
This competition was launched in the hope of raising awareness about the importance of women's economic empowerment. We asked participants to write an essay of 500 words explaining how be bold for change benefits women's economic empowerment. They could submit their essay in either English or French. We received excellent entries and choosing the best essays was a tough choice. Once again, thank you to all participants who will receive an appreciation e-certificate. The winners will receive their gifts as stated in our original announcement.
Congratulations to our winners! Leonardo Buzzi won the third place. Rea Caballero won the second place. India Lucesoli, the 2017 winner of our March 8 competition, submitted the following essay:
Women: It’s not black and white
We are the same and we are completely different.
One half of a whole.
We are born in different environments and from our birth we will be defined by our gender.
United in our very being.
When someone doesn’t know you and wants to call out to you what do they say?
One box to define half of the people on earth.
And that half depending on who you ask is not born equal to the others.
The other half.
And what my dear friends are we taught from an early age? That they are not like us. Society from our births will separate us and they will keep putting these concepts onto us for the rest of our lives. From skirts and dresses to “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”. Even education or rather the lack of it will forever determine our place in society. And if we laugh loud, love freely and enjoy our bodies we are sluts. Even the word provoques disgusts it slinks of our tongues a bitter slimy taste left there. The gravity of it weighs on us but at least we are feeling compassion feeling guilt. If we cover our bodies, read and pray we are prudes. Not as bad as a slut but still hurtful and it hurts. These words do not slide off and we know just how hard they can pierce us if we let out of our mouths. Guilt soon follows and we are glad for it’s presence. For it is far better than to feel nothing at all and be numb to it.
I heard something the other day from a kindly old woman who used to give me sweets as a child “It is not a woman’s place to be president. When I think of a leader I think a man. We women would start a war in seconds a man keeps a clear head for we are burdened by feeling everything far too strongly.”
It disgusted me.
It felt like a punch in the stomach my eyes watered as blood rushed into my head.
I felt physically ill.
But before I turned to rage and judgement.
I felt a wave so powerful and as cold as ice wash over me.
This woman had never been taught.
To value herself and her gender. To honour our incredible bodies for bringing the miracle of life and for being as much of an intellectual capable human being as any man.
That day I hugged the woman and told her I was sorry.
She would ask me for what and I could only smile sadly.
There was nothing I could do for her, one can only help those who want to be helped.
But this is not boys against girls anymore.
No this about fathers who love their daughter and believe they deserve everything that a man can get.
This is about mothers who have turned their backs on the daughters of other mothers due to their background.
This is about brothers holding their sisters after the horrors of all horrors has been committed.
This is about sisters screaming about her sister's immoral behaviour.
This has never been about genders.
It has always been about fundamental human rights.
Copyright © 2017 Jessica Foumena, All rights reserved.