I am telling you about this plan in the planning stages rather than later. This plan gives me chills because of the impact it could have. Emma, my post mate, and I are starting to plan a women’s club for a month before and after Women’s Day, March 8, 2012.
This is the grand idea: women of all ages will meet once a week for 1-2 hours. Each week we will discuss something that is going on in the world that is happening to women. There are not many maps in Cameroon, so this will allow the women to look on a map and hear other people’s stories. We will start off discussing what is going on in our neighboring country, Congo. People do not know about the method of warfare; rape. Then we would talk about how rape is a violation of your rights, how rape is never ok, and how as a woman you should not feel bad for saying no.
We will discuss topics like human trafficking in the United States, The Middle East and now extremist cultural is getting confused with Islam when in reality the Qur’an does not support the actions. We will inform the group of the rights that are guaranteed to women in Cameroon. We will discuss articles in Cameroon’s national law that violates these rights. We will talk about powerful women in the world and what they are doing to change the system or what they are doing to overcome. But most importantly we will ask the women how they feel. How they feel when their husband take another wife, or when they are the second wife. How do they feel when they are expecting to take care of the house all day, take care of the kids and then have a meal at the end of the day waiting for their husband. How do they feel when they aren’t allowed to go to school, told that they are not intelligent, and beaten. We want them to raise their voices, to discuss, to debate, to learn, to feel empowered, and at the very least to change in some capacity.
Emma introduced me to Eve Ensler’s book I am an Emotional Creature. I am now reading her book A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer. We want to tie in Ensler’s “V-Day” campaign to our group. (If you haven’t read her books, I would really recommend them or seeing the play Vagina Monologues at the local college campus) Both Emma and I are extremely excited about the potential about this group. We joked that people are already going to think this is a radical idea so we should not sugar coat the topics that we bring to the group. If you have articles, stories, or thoughts please send them our way.