Most women carry a purse or some sort of bag wherever they go. It is also well known to never look inside a woman’s bag; hmmm what could possibly be there? Lipstick? Who knows but the question you should be asking today is “Is your bag going to help you survive in a difficult situation?”
Hmmm depends what that ‘difficult situation’ is, I mean you never know. So here is a list of some items that could relieve you in some situations.
It is advised to carry your ID Card, Drivers License and even Passport everywhere you go, you don’t need to carry the real thing in case you lose it but a photocopy will do. This is important in instances where you may be stuck in a mob, or involved in an incident or accident where your ID can help clarify on who you are.
This is also very key when travelling in a foreign country or when making a transaction e.g I went to send money to a friend through transfer and forgot to bring my ID for the transaction, when the personnel asked me for it to complete the transfer, I blinked and rummaged through my bag for the photocopy which was torn and worn out, it was shameful but since the numbers on it were still visible, I didn’t have to go home for the real thing.
2. MONEY / COINS
You need at least enough money in your purse to board a bus or use a pay phone if you are stuck somewhere. e.g one time I was stranded and lost in the big city, it was night and it started raining… I climbed the wrong bus until I realized I was lost with just enough coins to call up my friend and ask them to call me back; In the end I booked a taxi with no money and they paid it for me. Phewww, after the scolding.
3. CELL PHONE
Of course, how could we even leave without checking on our pet, the cellphone. But of course, don’t forget to power it up by recharging it and feeding it with credit; yes internet is free but it’s not everywhere, especially when you need it most. Sometimes pay phones are a pain so have your cellphone around. I don’t think I need to convince you on this one.
4. A LIGHTER / MATCHSTICK
You do not need to be a cigarette smoker to carry this around. It is also good that they are small and convenient and you won’t even know they are there till you need them, so unless you know how to start a fire with two stones carry a lighter around for emergencies.
5. A RAZOR BLADE
As is a matchstick, a razor blade is small and can stay unnoticed in your purse at all times. It can help you to cut simple stuff and it’s enough to threaten a guy who is about to harm you, especially if he’s alone.
e.g I don’t know what I was doing alone in a random guys room, I thought he could be trusted, we weren’t high or anything but he tried to take advantage of me, I ran to the bathroom with my bag but he was strong and was pushing against it saying he’d let me go which I highly doubted cause he was pushing the door, it was only until I remembered the rusty razor in my purse and threatened to use it on him with a confident voice even though I was melting inside that he backed off and I escaped… Phewwww close… A lighter can work in this case too, I think but don’t put yourself in such a place to begin with, you may not get lucky.
6. A PEN AND PAPER
It is always good to have this at hand as you may never know what you need to jolt down and when. Phones can be used for that too but trust the good ol’ pen and paper to do its job right. If you witness a hit and run case but can’t take a picture of the car, if you glimpse the number plate, its helpful to write it. These are also good for marking your random thoughts that you promised you’d remember but didn’t. On the other hand, a pen could come in handy for self defense purposes too; just hold and thrust.
7. LABELLED PAIN KILLER
If you have allergies, take your medicine with you always too. A labelled pain killer can help save your life, of course you know your medicines but why label them? In case it is needed in saving someone else’s life. A label helps clarify what the medicine it, but don’t mislabel it for whatever reason.
8. TAMPONS AND PADS
Ok, this is a must for every girl. Not only does it help you but it could help some other poor lady having a bad day because she forgot to bring hers.
BONUS: Other useful things to carry are tissue, band aids, pepper spray and a snack, you never know when it might help you or someone else. Also, a mirror, you might have something stuck in your teeth.
SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd is a not for profit organization based in Zambia with a vision to raise a generation where girls are empowered, equipped and fulfilled in every aspect of their life, for the development of the entire world. To know more about SAFIGI’s goals and activities, visit http://www.safetyfirstforgirls.org