Liberia: New ‘Sit With Me’ e-book tells stories of empowered women fighting prejudice
DAKAR, Senegal, May 04, 2022 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Advocacy group Niyel is pleased to announce the online launch of its illustrated e-book which documents the intimate stories of the intergenerational journey of eleven African women towards autonomy.
Titled Sit with Me, the stories shared provide an in-depth understanding of African women’s experiences of gender injustice within a patriarchal society and how they learned to navigate it. Hosted on Niyel’s website www.niyel.net for free download by the public, the stories cross the themes of female bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights; gender-based violence; economic justice and rights, and women’s leadership and political participation.
Lolo Cynthia Ihesie, Advocacy Manager at Niyel, explains the use of the storytelling technique as aiming to spark a conversation around deeply rooted beliefs and behaviors regarding agency and women’s autonomy. “Storytelling has been identified as one of the most powerful tools for changing norms and unearthing limiting beliefs that have become normalized in society.” The e-book aims to reach the audience of teenage girls and young women whose norms are still forming and have not yet been inhibited.
The concept is one of intimate sisterly learning – whereby a younger sister can sit with an older sister, to listen, learn and draw strength from their experiences as they remove the cloak of silence. This mentoring methodology provides adolescent girls and young women with tools and guidance to increase their self-reliance and awareness of the world. The eBook explores what goes on in their minds, bodies, and subsequent personal and professional journeys and defining moments.
Bintou Diallo is among the women who shared her story in the e-book. She talks about her resilience as a child born of a union outside marriage. Bintou says: “To fall is natural, but the will to get up is ours. Once down, we can decide to stay there, bearing in mind that this is the path others have decided for us, or, we can go up – and that takes courage.”
Niyel’s goal for the e-book launch is to encourage everyone to download and read the inspiring stories. The advocacy group will work with women-led organizations and book clubs to recommend the book to their various audiences. “We would like the book to be part of book clubs in secondary schools. We also recognize that change comes through conversations, and so we will be hosting Twitter spaces and a #SitWithMe digital campaign for other women to share their own stories online,” adds Ihesie.
Adeline Ilboudo, Advocacy Officer at Niyel adds: “Many girls and women who have been through difficult situations have not been lucky enough to have access to mentors or parents to guide them. This collection of stories will serve as a guide to inspire and strengthen them. develop their full potential in the face of difficulties.”
Niyel is involved in a wide range of advocacy initiatives across the continent. Although not all of them deal directly with women’s rights, these rights are indirectly at the heart of everything he does.
Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of Niyel.
Founded in 2008, Niyel is an international advocacy and campaigning company based in Dakar, Senegal. He works to promote public policies favorable to the development of all and to influence practices to ensure that as citizens, individuals and communities, we understand the social, political and cultural issues that affect our daily lives. Media Contact
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Source: African Media Agency (AMA)