Over the past year, I have been quite invested in working with women in vulnerable circumstances. Their stories, their hardships, their strength and resilience have shattered my reality and changed my entire perspective on life.
One of the reasons I was interested in blogging (aside from my personal struggles with expression) was to be have an outlet to share some of my experiences with the aim of reaching out to people with the aim of starting a conversation about what could be done (I am still finding my way around working to empower women and it would be amazing to connect with like-minded people).
*I have modified a few identifying details
Anyway, here is one story.
I met a woman who had to migrate because her husband got a job in another country. Although she was a qualified professional in her home country, because of language difficulties and the job market being an overall terrible mess she has been unable to find work in her field. She told me that her husband, daughter and mother-in-law like to point out the fact that she does not provide for her family (I want to say bully – but I am trying to tell you the story as she told me so I will bite my tongue). In order to gain some sort of financial independence, she taught herself crafts to sell. She told me that it is getting harder and harder for her to attend markets because of pressure from home. (I was confused.) She told me that her husband and daughter don’t appreciate having to “walk into the kitchen and heat their food” and that they “prefer to have freshly prepared food and not food that has been in the fridge” (note: she cooks everyday and stores in the fridge). When I asked her if she would like to attend a camp that is aimed at helping women develop their business and communication skills; she told me that she would have to ask permission from her daughter.
Her responses broke my heart, mostly because she was smiling the whole time. I think she doesn’t realise how incredible she is.