I have lived half my life in alternate realities.
In these, I have been a lioness, a rabbit (don’t judge me), part of my bed, a football coach, Mr. Morgan’s brain (he is my all-time favorite English teacher), a pilot, the sun and many other things my mother would cringe at. Out of all these realities, my all-time favorite has always been the one I actually live – as a girl what with all the menstrual cramps and never ending standards set for my beauty and talent and what not.
Growing up as a girl has not been easy. Growing up as a girl in our society which chooses to advance into modernity, leaving behind girls and women, even less so. It can be daunting and frustrating and make you very easily go mad asking why your breasts cannot be molded into testicles at critical points. And then you remember that it might be a man’s world but we women sure do run it. That makes me smile. Becoming a woman is in many ways a beautiful process; it is an adventure full of joys, tears, challenges, victories, finding one’s self, losing one’s self, change, love, courage, fears and satisfaction among others. It is a journey to be lived out- actively- not observed passively. It is a journey with many different paths. No two people’s transformation into womanhood is the same.
What binds us together however are the core of the challenges that we face- puberty, boys, family, parents, money, self-identity, self-esteem, friendships, unsolicited opinions and standards set for us, the list is quite long. It is infinitely easier to face these challenges head on when you know you have support and know you’re not going at them alone. This is the reason for this series beginning.
It is an open space where women and girls who are deep in their journey into womanhood (read, GoWomen) share issues they grappled with or are still grappling with and how they are dealing with them. It is a no-judgment arena, a meeting place of females bound together by their womanhood. Here, you can share your challenges and learn from others’. It’s a sisterhood of GoWomen. We are here.
To Women Anonymous.
NOTE FROM OUR EDITOR:
For the rest of Women’s Month we will be sharing the personal stories of young girls trying to navigate their way into womanhood. We are inviting you to share similar stories with us. Earlier in the month we launched our IBIM Campaign. These stories are the inspiration behind IBIM. Through mentoring, we are hoping to show young girls that we believe in them and they in turn should believe in themselves. Our I Believe In Me Campaign is a mentoring program aiming to inspire and foster the GoWoman ethos in young African girls. In Sierra Leone we will be working with Educaid’s Women’s Project. The IBIM Big Sister Program will connect young girls with female mentors for one on one coaching, and we will also use social media and technology to bring African women in the diaspora to mentees on the continent. We believe that often young girls need a trusted confidante; someone they can talk to about their concerns as they transition into adulthood, without the fear of judgement. Be it career choices, love, sex, abuse, family issues or simply navigating their way through friendships, we hope to create a virtual environment where young girls can feel safe to openly share and whenever a sister to sister chat isn’t enough, we will put them in touch with the right agencies.
Our homepage will continue to share the power of mentoring and having strong role models in our lives with the #IfNotForYou campaign. You can make your contribution to our work by shopping from our IBIM Collection.