Tuesday, June 15, 2010
During the last week of May, I conducted a creative writing workshop with members of BRAC’s Social Organization for the Empowerment of Adolescents (SOFEA) program. I was struck by how motivated and confident the 22 young women in the workshop were. They had big dreams for the future and I have no doubt that is because of the encouraging atmosphere created by BRAC’s community centers that provide safe spaces and role models for young women across Bangladesh (and now around the world). BRAC is a wonderful example of an organization that is successfully empowering women and girls around the world. By don’t take my word for it. Here are a few excerpts from essays written by the participants:
Noorbanu: My parents and I have the same dream which is for me to become a lawyer. I hope that I am able to give myself a beautiful life. I want to study and do big things. I hope when I am grown up I am able to take care of my parents.
Anjuman: When I grow up, I want to be independent I want to be a doctor. I want to spend my life helping others. I want to stand by them in their times of need. I want to help people with something with which they can earn a living.
Rehka: I want to be a doctor. But I don’t just want to be a doctor, I want to be a poet too. I will practice medicine and alongside I will write poetry. That is my biggest dream.
Bokul: What I hate the most is when differences between boys and girls are highlighted. I’m not sad that I am a girl, but many people in this society to make me feel bad about it. They keep thinking girls are weak, helpless. This belittling attitude towards girls I find very hurtful. . I want to finish my education and be independent. My father wants the same. That’s why he never says no to anything. In fact, he encourages me.