To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are sharing stories from some of our female leaders and academics over the next week. Today, Noritta MorseuDiop, a Senior Lecturer in Social Work, reflects on her passion for the community and giving a voice to the voiceless.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was 15, I wanted to become a nun, but my uncle talked me out of it. I also wanted to be a Blue Nurse so I can help people in need.
What’s been your greatest achievement to date?
I would like to think that I have a few great achievements, the first one is Motherhood, and raising four children who are wonderful human beings and completing a PhD in Criminal Justice and Social Work against all odds.
How have you found being a woman, working in your sector?
As a social work practitioner for 29 years, and being a woman working in the school of social work has been both challenging and liberating. In particular, as a First Nations woman, I have been placed in a position where I can bring the true history and the struggles of my people to the forefront and make a change.
Tell us about any female role models in your life?
My female role models have been my grandmother, my elders, my mum, and my aunties, who I call mums. These strong women led by example and kept me on the right path. I am inspired by other strong women such as Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and Lauren Lake.
What are you ‘choosing to challenge’ on this International Women’s Day?
It is important to challenge the status quo, steer from the path of least resistance. I would like to see the voiceless rise up, have their voices heard and be counted. I would love to see the voices of our women respected. I always believed in the power of women, good women. For example, if there were more women in positions of power, it is my belief that we would create a more peaceful, safer, cleaner and sustainable world. We would ensure that our women and children were safe and free from harm. We would create a caring, sharing society and community, that is my hope.
What do you see as one of the major challenges for the modern woman?
One of the biggest challenges for modern women is to have more equality and autonomy in all aspects of society.
What progress have you seen on women rights?
There is still a long way to go in terms of achieving equality and autonomy for women on all levels. I would like to see more women in decision-making positions where our voices are heard, accepted and respected.
What is your advice to women wanting to pursue their dreams?
I say dream big and never quit, the sky’s the limit, go for it and if you fall down, pick yourself up, shake the dust off and keep going. If you make mistakes, see them as stepping stones and not stumbling blocks, learn from them and keep moving.
What inspired you to start your current career?
The love of my people and community is what inspired and encouraged me to work in this area, as a social worker in the helping profession and as an academic giving a voice to the voiceless.