10 February 2018 0 Comments

#Metoo Advocacy & Representative Cristina Garcia: lessons

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Cristina Garcia, #Metoo

Advocacy in its simplest form is a public support for a cause or policy. Advocacy gives voice to the voiceless and raises conversation around a ‘pain’ so it can receive its due attention.

A proper and effective advocacy is planned. It has an objective and seeks to bring everyone who shares in the identified pain together so they can all present a common front. Divided voices never leads ?to the achievement of ?any objective.

In many cases, advocacy voice is targeted at the right authority with the ability to bring desired change. Since advocacy seeks to redress a perceived wrong done to individuals or group of individuals, advocacy objective is sometimes narrowed down to a burning interest. In few instances, there may be multiple opinions within an advocacy project but normally one can identify a central issue advocates ?are campaigning against.

Some advocacy issues may affect a section of a society. While some are transnational in its effect. Effective advocacy must also have targeted actions. Without strategic actions there will be no result.

Advocating for a system is quite different from advocating for Human rights issues. The danger of the later is that the individuals who form the group must constantly check themselves so as not to become victims of the cause. The saying ‘he that will come into ?judgement ?must come with equity’ is very apt.

With the above said, I am re emphasising I am a pro – women. I am in love with cause which fights for equity between men and women. This is ?irrespective of religion, ethnicity, political orientation. This has compelled me to put unusual ?pressure on myself everyday. Call it fear or anything. I try hard ? to always watch my back, front and sides. An online writer has said instead of being afraid, it is better to ask women you have relationships with what is off radar for them so you do not go beyond boundaries.

Though there are basics every male should know. It is just that what you know or think about sexual harassment may not be enough. Since the establishment of the #Metoo movement, I had followed its activities with keen interest and I constantly pray nothing will destroy the good work this movement is doing. I do know such a movement will need all the strategy and sainthood of Angels to escape a blow below the belt.

Today I read online series of ?allegations against one of the frontline campaigners of the movement, California state democratic representative Cristina Garcia. These had led to her taking up unpaid leave pending when the investigations are concluded. My initial reaction is this life is a two edge sword. Those who live in there must tread with care. why do people wait until when a person gains popular status before they speak up? People do have their inalienable right to speak out when they do desire though and no one should question their judgements. But my fear is if these allegations are ?true, it can slightly affect image of this crusade and its crusader.

What we can learn:

1. Advocacy will attract both friends and foes, be sure you are ready.

2. As a campaigner, it is good to do proper ‘health check’ and be sure ?foes will not have any occasion to attack you.

3. Stay on track and do prepare for a comeback in case something happens along the line.

4. When you are a crusader for a cause, watch your hobbies, addiction etc. From every allegations made against Rep. Cristina Garcia ?by her ‘victims’, a common feature was that the abuse happened after she had taken in a level of liquor.

Photo credits: time.com

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