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Turning the Pages Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by shola adu, Nigeria Apr 18, 2006
Education , Human Rights   Opinions
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In this fast paced, knowledge driven era, one of the greatest weapons in fighting gender divide will be the saying, “a city on a hill cannot be hidden”.

As women, we need to realize that if we keep asking for rights, then we acknowledge we don’t own them! When we stand up to display the right we already posses - the individuality that sets us apart- society will step aside to let us pass, for we would show that we truly know where we are going.

A new guide offered by the 21st century is a call for women to cultivate life-long efforts to deepen and broaden personal knowledge beyond conventional education.

Women are naturally made to multi task, and in this fast paced knowledge-driven era, there is an increasing demand for an outstanding and purposeful play of their various naturally assigned roles, as well as other roles taken on throughout their lifetime.

In the midst of the present intense identity crisis, it is important for women to start asking basic questions of what, why, how and where regarding their roles, to enhance their uniqueness through a holistic approach.

More than the traditional “home training” expected of women in African societies, the power of knowledge is an inevitable tool in the maximization of our potentials.

The world is changing at an accelerating rate; and beyond the effects on the global scene, the changes are bringing challenges right to our doorsteps, especially as women. We therefore need to be sensitive to the trends and events that affect our lives, adding value to our intellectual capacities and increasing our capabilities.

These significant changes seem to be happening about every nanosecond, and they sometimes leave us pressurized, as well as imbalanced.

Today, with the whirlwind of new challenges in the nature of women’s employment, child raising and household management, in addition to their different roles and relationships across diverse institutions, they are faced with the challenge of learning to construct these in a way that differ from those they experienced as children.

One sure way of facing the challenges posed by these changes is to harness the power of knowledge and place it at the heart of all of our activities- family and marriage, personal growth, as well as financial, physical, professional, social and spiritual growth - by tapping into healthy and useful information readily available through various sources within our grasp.

Planning our lives and making daily decisions requires significantly more information than our mothers needed when they were our age!

We need to recognize the tremendous need for us to participate in life long learning that engages all composition of our lives; to build a springboard that suits us in all of our roles by having extensive information about our changing world and how it affects us.

Maya Augelou, author of "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" says “…if I were a young person today trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do it again by reading…”

Collecting information, especially by reading healthy books on a wide variety of subjects gives deeper insights into life, and opens new vistas of moments of “ahas”, when the mind is suddenly freed from the constraints of time and space to envision possibilities in a new terrain.

Turning the pages will simply increase our awareness and expand our world as women!

Charles Eliot says, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest counselors and the most patient of teachers."

Women need to make a habit of collecting information of a particular interest from different sources in order to examine or compare it. It helps one to expand thier choices and to make informed decisions.

For women, the particular interest is the issue they feel energized to do something about, or an inadequacy they want to change.

This could be on beauty tips and fashion, self development, mothering a teenager, cooking skills, planning a wedding, global development, positive attitudes, leadership skills, juggling work and home, career change, skills acquisition on job, managing finances, community involvement, being a good wife, coping with a boss, fulfilling sexual life, living with an in law, starting a business, being a good hostess and homemaker, communication skills, tips on pregnancy, handling sexual harassment, emotional intelligence, and the list goes on.

Having the right information and putting it into practice creatively gives you confidence, enthusiasm, energy, ideas and power. It helps you build a springboard that suits you in your various roles.

Its time for us to start taking a self-discovery adventure into empowering ourselves through acquisition of skills, knowledge and the attitude necessary for upward mobility in all of our roles.

We need to resolve to edge in a little reading everyday on a specific topic or skill we have always wanted to learn about; on issues we want to make changes in; or on the things we will need to achieve our goals.

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