Have you ever attended an event or met a person who changed your perspectives on certain issues that you had held on for so long and you just thanked God for that encounter? I was privileged to be part of the Young African Leaders Initiative ( East Africa Regional Leadership Center) program designed to model the future generation of African leaders. Apart from the vast and insightful knowledge I gained, I also met amazing young leaders filled with thirst to transform their communities and the continent at large. We had very fruitful and amazing conversations about how youth can steer the transformational agenda and how all this starts with shifting our paradigms.
Today, I bring to you….drums roll…. Bisharo Ali Hussein! Maybe you’ve seen her or just heard vividly about her but today, we’re going to find out just how much this brilliant soul has in store for us when it comes to transforming our perspectives on the issues that ail us as a community. She is a change agent, a women and girls rights’ ambassador and blogger at Bisharo Tenecity.
Here’s the interview I had with her. I hope you will be inspired!
Tell us a little about your background and how you started Bisharo Tenecity
I am currently an aid worker and a gender expert who possesses eight 8 years of experience in development and humanitarian settings specifically focusing in the field of protection, Gender Equality, conflict resolution and peace-building, human rights, peace and security, governance, housing land and property and durable solutions for the internally displaced, refugees and poor host communities. I hold a post-graduate Diploma in International Gender Equality Studies at Iceland University under United Nation University of Gender Equality Studies Training Programme (UNU-GEST) in Iceland where I focused on Gender disparities specifically gender and security. I am an activist and driven by my commitment to profoundly impact the lives of women and girls in through education, women empowerment and advocates against harmful cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Somalia.
I observed so many challenges women and girls face in my community and most people don’t speak about it and turn a blind eye. So I started writing and I found myself writing in some African youth websites and local Somali websites. I finally later decided to start up my blog (bisharotenecity.com) and wrote about issues affecting women and girls in my society to raise awareness, advocate duty bearers and campaign for rights of girls and women. I thought this was one way to start because I am passionate about writing and this is a tool I can use to express and deliver my message out there.
What would you consider as your most significant accomplishment so far?
Being a role model for many girls out there, talking on their behalf and most importantly addressing their problems so that action is taken by duty bearers.
Any unique challenges you’ve experienced running Bisharo Tenecity?
Yes, most of the time when I get to write some people have a different opinion and may even respond negatively. Actually, I have learnt to challenge the stereotypes for those who believe women should n’t be out there speaking about issues affecting themselves and the society as a whole.
What’s next for Bisharo?
Upon completion of the leadership Program at YALI Regional Leadership Centre East Africa and being a youth leader in 2018 for Women deliver young leaders programme, I plan to continue working in promoting gender equality by advocating for health rights and well-being of girls, women and youths including women’s rights and equal access to opportunities. I will ensure that I expand my writing coverage and try reach as many people as possible with knowledge, informative information plus continue campaigning and advocating until I see our women and youths rights are considered and respected. I would love to see women, girls and youths claim and exercise their rights in all political, economic and social spheres and most important be productive and build the nation.
Any advice for Women and other women and girls rights activists?
Blogging and speaking out maybe be difficult to many girls and women due to barriers caused by social structures we live in. This should not be a setback, we need to stand out and face the situation head-on. We, women, should speak out and stand up for what we believe in. We are in charge of what happens in our life-that of women and girls in your community and you need to keep adapting. For women who have dreams like me, to change the sphere or seeing women access equal rights, kindly work on your dreams and know that no one has the power to shatter your dream unless you let them. Dream higher and bigger and always keep in mind you are going to face some setbacks at some point but keep on dreaming and working hard to achieve your set goals and make the world a better place for girls and women.
How can well-wishers contact you?
To contact Bisharo, email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember to check out her blog at www.bisharotenecity.com