I understand consciousness raising as the capability of perceiving the world through different angles, which enables us to transform it and advocate for what we believe in. And consciousness raising is the compulsory first step that any revolutionary movement need to undertake.
When women started raising their consciousness through lived experiences about the men-made society, not only they were becoming stronger but they were also creating a feminist movement based on mutual respect and communication. It all started with a sense of shared reality, which “lead us to our theory, theory to our action, our feelings about that action to new theory and then to new actions (Sarachild).” Though consciousness raising is the first stage for a greater impact, it incorporates sub-phases that one need to go through to be aware of her own situation and where she places herself in society. While increasing their knowledge on social conditions women provided themselves with the basis for social identity.
Consciousness raising allows women to approach the patriarchal world they live in through different angle. It allows them to find a way of changing the idea of male superiority and idea that has been internalized for centuries. Even though consciousness-raising focuses on women’s growth bug men should be encouraged to address this concept as well. Because the be social relation between women’s inferiority and men’s superiority has always existed and has not yet ended. Educating not only women but men as well would make greater impacts. It shouldn’t be a single fight but a mutual one between men and women.
In a peacebuilding group it is important to talk about why and how the problem we face is important to us. From that we will understand where we stand as an activist group. This will finally allow us to create a world outside our structured society.