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Telling Our Own Stories

The truth stands that no one can tell a story about a woman better than a woman. Now that we have drifted away from a society that conditioned us women to be quiet, we celebrate our women who have been courageous enough to tell us their stories. Here is a look at some of the Malawian women who have shared their experiences through storytelling.

Cathreen Mlenga demonstrated that there are no restrictions on the types of media to use when it comes to telling our stories. As an actress, scriptwriter, and director, she is on a mission to promote women's rights and tell their stories through film. She produced the movie “Sowing Seeds”, which was inspired by a friend who died from teenage pregnancy-related complications. The movie tackles different issues in our society like peer pressure, gender-based violence, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, and misconceptions. Sowing seeds released a trailer that hooked a lot of movie lovers. The movie is set to premiere today on the 30th of July, 2021.

Bertha Chimphonda. The National Statistics Office reported that one in three Malawian Women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 experience physical or sexual violence. To people out there, these are just numbers but to every woman out there, these numbers have faces of ourselves, our mothers, our sisters, friends, or of women we know. Realizing that there is not only one way of addressing Gender-Based Violence, Bertha Chimphonda,a 17 year old girl decided to use words as her weapon. She wrote a book titled “Walking on Thorns” which contains short poems articulating GBV issues that women face in the country. The poems tell different stories of what she, herself experienced, witnessed, and heard from different women and girls. The collection has 26 poems, 4 of which are personal poems which narrate what she went through at a young age. The book was launched on the 25th of June and is available for reading on different platforms.

Why should women be encouraged to tell and share their stories? By telling our own stories we regain our power. Without us telling our stories, our desires, wants, and thoughts would just be lost and be drowned by assumptions. Sharing these stories opens up doors to other women so that they too can live through their experiences with their heads high up. By telling these stories we also give hope to other women, through our stories fellow women get inspired and motivated. These stories leave clues and clear up paths for fellow women, showing them what can be done and how it can be done. Through these stories women deal with issues affecting us collectively. When women tell their stories, they become one.

This week, we are encouraging women to open up about their stories. Women should be free to express and tell their stories either through music, dance, poems, and more. Every story is worth telling and worth hearing.

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