I would like to share a story from one of our amazing girls at the school. This is a response for an essay in the Common Application for college. What belief have you challenged and what triggered you to act?
This is Shadadi’s response in her own words:
“What is she waiting for? Is she waiting to grow horns so that she can get married?” said many family member and traditional leaders in my village. This was said during a meeting which was held to help my family to nurture me since it had failed to do the job very well and is missing the most important concepts [meaning early arranged marriage].
I reject the concept of getting married at a young age without my own consciousness. I cannot stand seeing a beautiful young girl being violated by being damped into marriage where most of them divorce after few months. This makes me feel like I would tell them that I will get married when I feel like; that will be when I am done with my studies and old enough to make my own decisions.
Standing in the public and trying to convince the population around that early marriage is not the best thing to do and it does not benefit anyone except causing too much trouble made me a disobedient and talkative girl as stated by the traditional leaders because I was trying to oppose the clan belief. They started calling me a big headed person and saying that they curse the day I started going to school because it made me different from the rest.
As the saying goes, “what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.” This is one of my principles in life because it tends to identify me from the rest of the people who believe in popularity. I have most of the time been hated and ignored for opposing most ideas which are being supported by the majority. I do so because I first have think and analyze before taking any decision which might present my position in one way or the other.
This character of self-confidence has helped express myself and gain respect as a literate especially back home in my village. This is so because after consisted opposition of their beliefs many started coming on my side after analyzing that I was talking sense and ignored me saying I was a child. This gives the courage of being a change maker whenever I have an opportunity to. This is how I managed to change the belief which people had followed for many years without opposition.