Showing posts from July, 2016

Do You and Be Awesome

By Nurul Nadhira via UN Online Volunteers

Back when I was younger, I used to have trouble wearing hijab. I was quite young when I hit puberty and although I've been explained about my duty to cover the hair, I still had difficulties wearing it. It wasn't rare to see a girl wearing hijab in schools.  In fact from where I come from, wearing hijab in some schools are compulsory. But I looked around at society and I thought wearing hijab prevented me to be part of society, to do the things most girls do at my age. I got rebellious, taking off my hijab every now and then so I could flick my hair like other girls and feel appreciated when boys talk to me. I wanted to be like one of the popular girls in school, be part of the group that every single person adores. That phase was challenging and difficult for me. I browsed through magazines, looking at the beautiful outfits women wear and I was very unhappy the fact that I can never wear clothes like them. From what I see, my religion w…

Resist Passive Acceptance of Abuse

By Mara Agolleti via UN Volunteers

Where I live all young girls are told how to act and dress properly. There are lots of spoken and unspoken rules surrounding how girls should avoid provoking unwanted reactions from men. I was told what to wear, where to go, and who to hang out with.
Don’t misunderstand me, I know those are the concerns of a loving family, which have always guarded my health and well-being. However, I have recently realised how these rules deeply effect my existence, I now question if this “responsibility not to provoke” should weigh on women?
I came to realise how many things you can be shamed for (as a woman). You can trigger a reaction by walking along an off the centre lane after 6:00pm. It is your fault if something happens after you let out a bad reaction after an absolutely unprovoked sexual comment. It is your fault if after a night out with your girlfriends you don’t want to make out with some guys you have just met. “Why would you be on a night out otherwise?!…

Teenagers Are Often Libeled for Loving

By Trang Vu Hong via UN Online Volunteering

I was studying Italian culture in Perugia, Italy when the junior Eurovision - the most renowned pan - European song contest - took place. Vincenzo Cantiello, a talented flamboyant Italian boy who performed his own love-filled song, “Tu primo grande amore„ (You are my great first love), came out as the winner. Below is the English translation of what he sang daringly, passionately and triumphantly:
It's all changed now that you're there You are so important in my dreams... It's so special about being with you Almost don't believe it and I don't know why ...
You know, I can't wait ... I love you, I have to say ...
I cannot live without your eyes in my eyes When your heart beats strong Pounding along with my ... You, the first great love I will never let you go You, the smile of my stroking You which illuminate for me The night ...
You are my very first love I will never let you go, Because there is something that tells me That never again …

Overcome Your Self-Criticism

By Flavia Bueno via UN Online Volunteering

I am Flavia Regina Bueno, 27 years old and a Brazilian Ph.D. Student, and I am here to tell you the times I was shamed just by being myself. When I was accepted to be part of this project, I first felt honoured, honoured by being able to be part of something meaningful, and to find a voice, however, I also felt scared. Once this is out there, it's going to be out there, and as much as I hope that this brings some comfort or inspiration, it's very frightening the possibility of shame I might receive for write it "out loud". I could come here and spend my words on how much I've been shamed because of my body, my personality, my choices,  my struggles or even by sharing that been shamed makes me upset. Instead, I've made a different choice.  Please understand me, those are all valid issues, and I know how much they have affected me, and I only imagine how many people out there have been affected by these same issues, howev…