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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Women; the Future! - A Community Based Public Lecture Delivered By Vweta Ariemugbovbe on Friday, March 1st 2013 in Ajegunle.



               

When I first visited this community in September 2012, I had intended to establish an ‘Alternatives to Violence Outreach’. However, the reality highlighted a more pressing issue- that of teen pregnancy and illiteracy amongst these very young women.

In the time that has passed I have been anxious to make a positive contribution and impact to this community, however small or big.

I found it inspiring and delightful to see many familiar faces and indeed new ones make out time to attend this lecture today.

As women, I would like us and very much encourage us to start realising that we are important to ourselves, family, friends, community, state, country and in fact the world. But it starts with our self – realisation.

It would be helpful for us to reflect on the following questions as a starting point:
  •   Do I/ we know the measure of strength that I/ we possess?


·        Do I/ we know just how powerful and resilient I/ we am/are?

·         Do I/ we know that I/ we have equal stake in the preservation of the human race as men?

·         Have I/ we considered that educating girl child is as important as educating boy child?

·         They say it’s a man’s world but do I/ we know that I/ we can make a positive impact only if I/ we change our attitude towards education as a necessity rather than as only a pastime?

·         We begin to realise our importance when we remember that every human in existence today whether great or small were all born of a woman.

·         God in his infinite wisdom saw that women are the stronger and more caring ones to be entrusted with the very important and delicate task of pregnancy and childbirth and nurturing. It is an unrivalled privilege  - so why abuse it or indeed waste it?

·         A women leader – the founder of Black Girls Rock - Beverly Bond said that we as women must realise that our ‘power is not below our waist but above our shoulders’. Think about that for a minute.

·         She started as a model and then a DJ and now she runs Black Girls Rock Inc - a non-profit, youth empowerment and mentoring organization that introduces music, poetry and theatre to women of colour.

·         When we as women, whom God and nature has chosen to be equal stakeholders in the preservation of the human race begin to have children before we even understand the changes going on in our bodies; before we find our self-identity, what can we possibly teach our young ones? What will be their life chances in a highly competitive world? Zero. We are not giving them any chance; rather we make them victims of our own avoidable mistakes – perpetually continuing a vicious cycle of poverty, powerlessness and illiteracy.

Until we collectively rise up against all odds and decide to educate ourselves as women, girls and daughters, we will be consigned to second class citizens – at the mercy of people who are ever so eager to exploit us in no small way and in so doing robbing us of the courage and ability to become empowered, emancipated and educated. As long as we remain enslaved in this way, we will never be able to contribute to our community and our world at large and we will never have lived. Considers these timeless words of Abraham Lincoln – America’s 16th President, who brought about the emancipation of the slaves – he said ‘in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years’.


I want us all here to take a pledge as you repeat after me:

  • I will begin to take responsibility for what I choose to do with my body;
  • I will begin from this day forth to take responsibility for how I use my body;
  • I will be responsible for when I decide to bring forth children and I will only give birth to children when I am financially, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually fit to raise them.
  • I will from this day forward take my education very seriously for I have recognised the importance of going to school if I must make an impact.

Abraham Lincoln also said that ‘if I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend 6 hours sharpening my ax’. Therefore spend this time of your life educating and empowering yourself (sharpening your axe) so that when you begin life it would be easy.

I recognise that doing alone is daunting – so I am willing to support those who take todays pledge seriously. I leave you with the words of Abraham Lincoln who said that ““I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down.” Please do not let me down.


My name is Vweta Ariemugbovbe, i am a social worker.

Thank you and God Bless us all.

2 comments:

  1. Well done Vweta. You have not only showed us that women are key to nation building, but you went a long way to show us why woman must develop the right courage to express their God's given potentials. Welldone!

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  2. Thank you. Until women the world over recognize and appreciate our true value as human beings, we may never be able to adequately impact our world positively.

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