My Journey Did Not End. It Just Started.
As a Champion for Change, I have raised social awareness on the issues women are faced with everyday and promoted economic empowerment for women on a daily basis. I strongly feel that our voice and our work lose momentum when we stop raising awareness. So, on a regular basis, I used tags from Empower Women and also used my own tag of my own organisation and my group, Our Cause to present latest news on how we can attain gender equality. At often times, this has generated open discussions from participants who agreed or disagreed and also, what it did is alerted people about their surroundings. I expanded my existing network on social media by adding on members who believe in my cause and who joined my group to support my campaigns. I have managed to cross borders and befriend members from all over the world who raised the issues faced by women in their part of the world in my group. As a Canadian, I wanted to raise awareness in Canada, however, while I started on my journey as a Champion for Change, major incidents occurred in different parts of the world which motivated me to keep my heart open to global issues and to try to reach out to women in different parts of the world.
At a personal level, whenever I felt infuriated with anger and felt helpless, I have resorted to my blog where I have written about social issues faced by women and connected my writings with my campaign for economic empowerment of women of Empower Women. I have taken these articles and published in a national daily, The Daily Star in Bangladesh. I exclusively wrote about women’s degradation under Hindu Law and their lack of inheritance rights as well as lack of acknowledgement of men’s role in the equality struggle and the importance to include them in our campaigns. I have noticed that my publications have been extensively referenced in conferences and further writings and have created awareness from students in Bangladesh.
My biggest campaign was launched in celebration of International Women’s Day. For the week preceding International Women’s Day, I promoted pieces of art such as literature, art and films by women or are about women and encouraged through social media for people to inquire and encourage about work that tell stories about women’s’ struggle. I used my background in financial services and at work led a campaign where I encouraged my colleagues to join the campaign. I celebrated International Women’s Day by raising awareness of women’s rights at work. My colleagues who supported me in this campaign have posted selfies with the campaign, “#BeBoldforChange”. I joined them too. I also created a motivational video to encourage women and men around the world to challenger gender stereotypes and to re-consider their stance on women’s rights.
I have also partnered with a dentist who happens to be a woman to offer free dental treatment in remote villages in Bangladesh. We partnered to mentor girls living in the village to provide career guidance and to hold Q&A sessions on Skype with me.
I would like to conclude by saying that I cannot tell my story or my journey or what I have gained from this tenure simple in a brief account. I need more than that. My journey has not ended. It has just started and I aim to stay with Empower Women and work on the campaigns to improve women’s lives globally. If you are interested or if my journey sounds like something that you may be interested in, join me!