I am a feminist! I am most passionate about equality…

August 24, 2017

By Mwiyeria Munyeki, Portfolio Compliance Advisor, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs, World Vision Australia 

I am a feminist! I am most passionate about equality of the sexes when two situations occur. 1) Where I have been made to feel like a doormat because I am a woman. 2) When I hear about or witness women make great strides. One situation brings out anger and a need to seek some form of justice, the other overwhelms me with joy and pride. Sometimes I feel both in quick succession which leads to a strange/unattractive facial expression…somewhere between winning the lottery and simultaneously being informed that my favorite character in a show has been killed off. I digress.

Meet 27-year-old Amina, mother of 3 and FMNR Champion (by the way, FMNR is all levels of amazing!). I met her when visiting a community designated FMNR site in Somaliland. I didn’t notice her in the beginning, but as we began examining some of the regenerating shrubs, the community rushed us around one plant. Once there was silence, Amina walked up to the plant and begun explaining its importance to the community and what it meant to be an FMNR Champion. I was a little taken a back. Having already spent a few days in the Somaliland, the confidence that Amina exuded in the presence of men many years her senior as she explained the many ways they use this plant and its importance to the community, I must admit was unexpected. There was silence and heads nodding in agreement.

Amina is just one of the many women I met. There’s 30-year-old Sahra, mother of two. Not only is she the only woman in the Community Animal Health Worker group of 10, but she is the Chairwoman of the group. I also met women who are members of a savings and loans group. These women spent a large chunk of their social fund assisting members of their community who were severely affected by the drought. This ranged from paying for the transportation to towns for those who lived in remote areas and had lost their livelihood and food, to paying for the transportation of pregnant women to hospitals.

I live for moments like these. Moments where the strength and heart of a woman is in full view. When I am reminded of the benefit of being brought up by parents that that believed I could do anything, be anything. But also remembering that “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” ― Audre Lorde

Here’s to strong women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.
– Unknown