Today is International Women’s Day, and it’s time to #BeBoldforChange. For me, this means demanding a space to be heard. These voices deserve to be taken seriously and to be incorporated into the public sphere. I have been aspiring to create a blog for a while, but always waiting for the right cause.This blog to me is a culmination of years of healing, and the need to create a space for change. This blog will be highlighting inspirational women and girls, and opening up the space to hear more voices and more experiences. I want this blog to celebrate achievements of women and girls and to expand debates surrounding feminism and what it means to be feminine. I especially want to highlight intersectional experiences, as I feel their voices are often the most repressed and silenced. There’s far too much doom and gloom in this world and, as an unfailing optimist, I want to stay true to myself and show there’s actually good in this world.
I have been on a journey recently to discover who I am as a feminine woman. I have always had a plethora of male friends, always ‘one of the guys’. In the last couple of years I have discovered true female friendship, and an intense connection between women. I have found this connection has manifested through a shared experience, as I have found so many women whose own life stories mirror my own. There’s something beautiful that happens when people from oppressed groups come together, and this experience is one of healing. For me, this has been truly inspirational. I have embraced a side of me which I have previously denied, and discovered the strength of women through unity and unconditional love.
This first post is to say that you all inspire me. You inspire me to get out there and fight for my right to be heard. You inspire me to push the boundaries of feminism towards gender equality. You inspire me to be outspoken and to unapologetically stand up for what I believe in. You inspire me to fight with words, and that demanding action does not mean a violent reaction. I felt this intensely at the Women’s March on London, where activists from across all causes were connecting to the march as a vehicle for change. I remember feeling an intense connection to everyone, and an overwhelming feeling of unity, love and support. The key message was “there is more that unites us than divides us”, which resonated so much with me, especially as I have felt such deep connections with people I have only just met. We unite through our shared goal to be heard, and find strength within ourselves and each other to persevere until our goal is met.
This message of unity is so clear to me through words. Our words connect our experiences, and our courage to speak out is what drives us to be heard. If we continue to be silent, the violence we face (be it physical or institutional) will continue. Recently I was at a fundraising event by Making Herstory for a documentary on the Birangona of Bangladesh. These Birangona women were 200,000-400,000 women and girls who were systematically raped during the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence. Their stories were silenced by the international community, by their own communities and by their own feelings of shame.For decades, the world has refused the hear their story, silencing the horrors these women endured and denying their power to demand retribution. The documentary is to ensure that these stories don’t die and their experiences don’t go unheard. We need to speak up, especially for those whose voices are continuously muted. Being able to open up about a horrific life event is a liberating and healing experience, and shouldn’t be denied to anyone. And they offer a chance for people who have experienced similar atrocities to feel solidarity through shared oppression, and an opportunity to heal themselves.
I have a voice. I will not be silenced. I am a woman, and I am demanding a space to be heard.
Much love to you all and thank you for reading my first post ❤️❤️
My next post will be about what the term ‘strong woman’ means to me. My first inspirational girl piece will be on Malala.
For more information about the Birangona women and ways to support the incredible documentary project please visit: https://makingherstory.org.uk/film-rising-silence/