Pascaline Dusabe, Goma
Watch or read Pascalines story below:
In their families girls weren’t getting any advice because parents saw those questions as taboo
The teacherTall and smart, Pascaline Dusabe is a 27 years old young woman full of determination, with an already quite impressive path behind her. This “peace artisan” , as she describes herself, decided to devote her actions to an often forgotten effect of endless armed conflicts: retrograde mentalities regarding women’ rights and a lack of information on the subject. She establishes a picture of the situation with her own words, a simple and clear testimony of the daily difficulties: “in my quarter, where I live, there were a lot of girls confronted to forced early marriages, unwanted pregnancies and diseases like HIV or others”. The explanation of this situation? “Taboo” subjects, lack of communication and exchange among communities or even families.
We noticed that in their families they weren’t getting any advice because parents saw those questions as taboo. It is the reason why I decided to organise meetings with those young girls, from 13 years old, where we would be able to share stories without any taboos.
Fight against rumoursThe first focus of attack for this strong-willed woman, is the myths and false information used by some men to mislead young girls, with significant consequences: “those young girls were misled by young men. The man for example could come and say “You see, as you are already 18, after 18 you are going to be sick if you remain a virgin for too long, it’ll cause diseases”. Or “You will not be able to deliver a baby properly”. Fed up, Pascaline settled real exchange spaces, where young girls can come to ask any question, and find trustworthy answers thanks, for example, to specialists’ help. “It is these kind of questions that we asked to, for example, doctors”. Sexual education as a weapon against misleading and abuse, an effective and modern idea, which results showing quickly.
I feel happy when I see that they have already understood that there are no taboos when asking questions.
To give confidencePascaline puts it nicely: knowledge is an invaluable weapon against retrograde traditions and reactions. She sums it up with this call to the youth.
Even if someone tries to mislead you, you have information. You must have a good knowledge of the subject yourself, even if the family is poor, even if you have little means. You shouldn’t have sex just to find money to pay studies, to buy clothes or a phone. Everybody must know how to behave in front of these questions.Far from presenting women as victims, Pascaline offers to give them a position and a future in the society, their society. A bet on future, and on the development of her country that can be summarised in this simple and clear way: “To see how to take charge of their own lives without.”