President's Note - October 2016
When the Port of Spain Mayor resigned after making less than popular remarks about women earlier this year, there was a sigh of relief that voices were heard. It is evident that having a voice, an opinion based on factual evidence to cause change is the only way to grow as a nation. The phrase, “there is strength in numbers” or power in the collective voice is a vital part of social change.
At times it is easy to feel lonely in your outrage when issues of child marriage and domestic violence cycles through the community, seemingly accepted. However, when like-minded persons collectively decide to advocate for change, powerful action happens. The importance of raising issues publicly prevents pluralistic ignorance where persons believe that a norm is accepted by others and accept that world view, while ignorant of their neighbour’s opinion on the subject. It can become a completely different dynamic when an opinion that is posted online has thousands of comments. It is that which can give the people in the community the power to go for change.
AFETT continues to support WINAD’s collective voice against child marriage, and we have posted statistics that allowed persons to understand the magnitude of this injustice as a human rights issue.
Similarly, Conflict Women’s project for domestic violence awareness month was very successful. The outpouring of private messages received from women with similar stories of being stalked or harassed on the street was evidence that women now felt safe to share their stories. In a conversation with Ms. Asiya Mohammed, the founder of Conflict Women, she shared her joy and surprise at the many women who contacted her and agreed to go public with their stories of abuse.
Many of the stories posted on Facebook were shared and had over 5000+ views with many positive comments. This is a testament of the importance of speaking up and speaking out for change.
Whether it is standing up for what you believe in or sharing a story of personal accomplishment, this all helps build our future. The work we do and share with others, especially our young ladies through our mentorship and other social outreach programmes, have and will make a difference. This is why AFETT continues to, inform, advocate and share knowledge in order to Make Women Winners.
We only truly help ourselves when we help others.