Aline Mukovi Neema, Goma
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Women are misunderstood in the community, in churches, in schools and even sometimes in the family.
Exposed and proudAline Mukovi is 26, a thin figure, and has a great will in her voice. This young girl living in Goma “campaign(s) in a youth movement for change” titled in a very revealing way “Lucia” . Her strength Aline gets from her past and the obstacles she encountered. Her goal? Promoting “human dignity” on the one hand, and women’s condition on the other. And to do that she risks everything, even her place in her own family and community. “My aunt dismissed me because she believed I was exposing myself. For a woman, in an African community, it’s not accepted to show yourself in the street, on TV, speaking of political matters. I was considered as ambitious, because I was dreaming of something extraordinary for our society. She saw me exposed, and because I am a woman that could make it difficult for me to find a job and a husband”. “Exposed” and more particularly exposing women’s difficulties within African culture is nonetheless at the centre of Aline’s action.
I fight for women in Lucia.
“Women are being misunderstood”Aline regrets it, but in African culture the image of women and especially the role she is expected to play are still very limited. “Women are misunderstood in the community, in churches, in schools and even sometimes in the family”. And if she had to give an example to illustrate this situation, Aline doesn’t need to go very far:
I see my own personal experience: at the beginning, when Lucia started, I wasn’t living in my own family but at my aunt’s. She asked me very quickly to leave the house because I was working in Lucia.When she shares this painful memory, it is possible to feel in Aline’s voice not only the sadness, but also the disbelief and disappointment of how a woman can be chased from her family just for saying what she believes in. Those difficulties didn’t prevent her from continuing her commitment in Lucia, and she can see the results today. “Afterwards (my aunt) started to get an interest in what was for me a priority, my fight”. As always, Aline remains very humble. She doesn’t fight for herself, but for all women: “It is a pride for me, but I don’t want to say that I serve as a model for others.”
Personally, I want to succeed in making it firstly a way of living, for others to be inspired by the small actions that I do and take them as examples. And I too, if I see someone who is not involved in the fight but who does something for which we struggle, I can easily join and go forward in order to bring the change we want in our community.
Give women confidenceAline says it without shame: “It wasn’t easy for me personally”. However, she doesn’t linger on her past and she prefers to draw the conclusions and work on the strengths needed in the future.
To others girls, I would like to say to not underestimate themselves, because of their sex or because of the so-called feminine weaknesses.And she concludes with this beautiful call to women: “ We are also able to bring change in our community, to serve it in a positive way”.