The Woman Boss in partnership with UNFPA held a meetup on December 22nd, 2020.
The Woman Boss in collaboration with UNFPA The Gambia hosted a series meetup: Uncomplicated Coffee – Let’s Chat All Things Women! We provided a safe space where women confidently spoke up without being judged and received the necessary psychological support from experts to keep them motivated enough to change the narrative. We provided the space for women to be vulnerable and converse openly, knowing they were surrounded by people who care and could provide the necessary support to heal their soul and fight for justice. Topics such as Gender Based Violence, Bullying, Leadership, Empowerment, and Mentorship among others were covered. Additionally, attendees received one-on-one counseling from experts in their industry.
Awamary Lowe-Khan, Founder of The Woman Boss welcomed guests and speakers, and highlighted the importance of creating spaces for Women Only. She allowed for parking lot activities that made attendees comfortable and vulnerable to share. Joy Michael from the UNFPA team elaborated on issues of Gender Based Violence and including help line- 1313, that is available to the public, free of charge. ‘Power Talks’ by Fatou Baldeh, Ngaima Sesay, and Silvia Lorenzi on violence against women and mental health made it clear how important it is that we take care of ourselves not just physically, but the importance of also setting boundaries to allow life to become simpler by being aware and accepting what is happening in our lives. Communications specialist and feminist, Jama Jack, spoke on the topic; “Your Voice, Your Power”. She emphasized how the patriarchy influences the rate at which our voices are listened to. “We cannot be the voice of others- we can only be our own voices in ways that will be beneficial to all”.
Today, the increasing use of technology has made communication easier and better than ever before. Virtual conversations with self-care expert Naya Powell, author, entrepreneur & Founder of Utopia Global Living and Wellness Spa, used herself as an example. She reiterated that we all have different wounds that we bleed from but that does not mean none of our wounds do not matter. She taught us how to navigate through things that bother you because stress and fear do
not go away. Resilience helps one push through and only then can you succeed. Leslie Steven, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, spoke to the women and girls about oppression leaning towards “the ties of fear, guilt and shame”. She spoke about how they should not let people use, oppress, and manipulate them because of fear, guilt, and shame and to always do things they are comfortable with.
The final activity- Be vulnerable: one-on-one conversation with professionals allowed for confidentiality. Women and girls who were present, had the opportunity to have confidential one-on-one conversations with professionals to help them get through challenges they have faced or are currently facing. Attendees reminded us on the need to have these discussions on a more frequent basis- we plan on it!
Aji Isatou Nyan
Intern and Woman Boss High School Ambassador
“We cannot be the voice of others- we can only be our own voices in ways that will be beneficial to all”