Showing posts from August, 2016

Let's Embrace Our Imperfections

By Courtney Lucey via UN Online Volunteers

As a woman in society today, it is almost impossible to accept our bodies and be confident in our own skin while everywhere we look we are surrounded by images and expectations of how our bodies ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be. We are force-fed ideas about our superficial appearances; such as what weight we should be, what size clothes we should wear and what our hair and make up should look like in order for us to be perceived as ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’.  But ultimately as women and girls, our worth is not determined by how we look on the outside and we must stand together to stop body shaming and teach girls that their beauty truly comes from within. For a girl growing up in our globalised society today I think the pressures to look a certain way are shockingly excessive and unnecessary.  Since the age of around 12 I can remember constantly comparing myself to other girls’ bodies and how they looked; from the other girls at school, girls in my danci…

Women do not 'belong' to anyone

By Tessy Aura via UN Online Volunteers

In my culture, a woman belonging to one is not celebrated and rarely tolerated. The consensus is that when a girl is born she belongs to her father or her brothers and when she is of age, she is then given away to another man, her husband who is now responsible for her. Growing up I remember hearing countless stories about women being evicted from their matrimonial homes just to return back to their birth homes to be rejected there as well;  Stories about girls who spoke out of turn and thus never got married or got divorced; stories about women who suffered immensely because they never found a man to love them enough to take care of them physically, emotionally, mentally and financially;  Stories that served to warn me against being too independent or else risk being alone and being banished to a life of economic destitution.   The consensus being that there is no silver lining to being an independent woman.  Further, not having a father, brother or…

Embracing Denial Is Not Shameful

By Immaculate Nakimera via UN Volunteers

I was raised by a single Mother after having lost my Dad at a very tender age. Before I was born, my Mum and Dad had given birth to my sister and brother. My sister was the first born while I was the last. As we grew up, my sister was always in a boarding school while my brother and I were in day schools. She usually came back home for short holidays.  I spent most of the time with my brother  and he become my childhood best friend. He was a friend whom I entrusted with my secrets and he entrusted me with his. I associated so much with my brother and other mutual friends. I was the only girl in the group and always wore my late Dad's clothes to fit in the group. At time in my community, women mostly wore dresses, skirts and it was rare to find a woman wearing troussers. By then, ladies’ trousers were not so common and were rarely sold in the market, but I felt more comfortable wearing men’s clothes. My Mum never bought me troussers and ne…