Interview Series: Marcus D. Joseph --By Alberta Richelieu
Marcus D. Joseph currently attends the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where he studies computer engineering with the desire to one day become a computer engineer. Marcus is passionate about the environment and hopes to promote eco friendly policies. He is interested in advancing the conversation on areas such as water and food security.
Marcus contends that young women need international experience in order to be confident in their abilities to succeed in the international arena. He believes that the role of governments would be crucial in providing this cross boarder experience. Governments, in collaboration with the private sector, civil society and NGOs, can use their power to forge agreements with other governments that would allow young people to experience life outside of their respective countries.
Marcus asserts that in order for young women to push the agenda for social change, it is necessary for them to first be comfortable with themselves in a peer and family setting. “Only after young women are comfortable with themselves in these aspects can they interact and cope with social change.” To him, social change will require resilience and ease of adaptation, as well as familiarity with diverse environments. “Once they can adapt to these changes, they can handle anything life throws at them, but the necessary starting point will be them being comfortable with themselves, in other words, they would require empowerment.”
Marcus believes that teaching and building life skills in entrepreneurship as well as the promotion of mentorship are critical factors for the advancement of any group of individuals. He believes that when provided the necessary tools, young people could greatly improve life skills in areas of communication, teamwork and many other aspects, which are needed in the work environment. “These skills will play a major part in their life because it will help them…to get a job and make them [well] rounded individuals.”
Marcus believes it essential to first figure out “how” men can play a role in the empowerment of women and girls and then utilize that as a starting point towards making a change. He maintains that while the role of men should not be undermined, it is important for empowered women to also ensure that they are visible to other young women, as this form of empowerment is generally more effective. More concretely, women need to practice telling their stories so that they can visibly serve as an inspiration to other women who are considering careers in similar fields. He noted that men can play a big part in pushing and motivating women, however more importantly, women must empower each other as they have first hand experience of the existence of gender inequality. He concluded by stating that men’s critical role will be in recognising and acknowledging their privilege and doing their utmost to address such.