Sophie McCann is a program director and advocate with experience in international development and human rights advocacy in the UK and internationally. She specializes in refugee and migrants’ rights and community-based mental health and gender programming. Sophie is part of the Lamp Lifeboat Ladder team focusing on organizational development and communications.
A call for freedom – in our homes, in the streets, in the schools, etc.
Many women survivors in our program are fighting for the rights of their fellow countrywomen and girls who continue to experience extreme repression and violence, simply because of their gender. This violence is never far from survivors’ minds. Two women in our program have written beautiful pieces describing their devastation at the approach towards women and girls in their home country, and speaking of the solidarity and hope they have for their sisters.
Someone asked, “do you have something to say for Women's Day?”
I said that we are women from the cursed land who call us mother, sister, wife, but where we have no value. What innocent women were buried alive there and their voices did not reach any human being, or if they did, everything was silenced after a while.
For women, if you get tired of writing or run out of ink, there is still something to say. A woman endures all the pains that God has given her such as period pain and childbirth pain, to prove that we are all equal: men and women, but they consider this pain worthless again!
Finally, women, tired of all this humiliation and belittlement, screamed: “it's enough! we can no longer tolerate your authority! We are not less than you and the only thing that we want is to be equal and stand together. Shoulder to shoulder.
This is why I can see the day when the women of my homeland will feel freedom not only in their homes but also in the streets, schools, in all the places where they were deprived of their rights and where all the doors were closed for them.
I believe in the power of women and the women of my homeland, because of the existence of God who created women and who called them “ the precious gem.”
The baby was crying, asking for someone to hold her, but her mother was crying, her head in her hands as if they had given her bad news, and her father, angry, didn't even look at her, and the others stared at her in awe. Finally, her mother hugged her, and said softly "I wish you were a boy."
I don't know how many thousands of little girls in my country have heard it, or they didn't even get the chance to hear it because they were buried at birth. And how painful it is. This sad tragedy is not over. Imagine being punished for a sin you didn't commit, and your only crime is that you're a girl, something you didn't even get to choose. Now imagine you were lucky and survived.
But this fact of being alive is inferior to death. Every day you live like you don't exist at all and you don't even know what the color of happiness is because your life has always been black and gray and you have just struggled to survive.
Yes, there is a land where a woman only carries the title of ‘mother’, ‘sister’, and ‘wife’, and is kept silent because of all those retrogressive thoughts. They carved deep wounds on their delicate skin and covered them with makeup.
We have all shown that there is no lasting cruelty and injustice. The women of my homeland have sacrificed themselves to break those ropes that have been woven around them for years, with their blood, they have drawn the role of a free swallow for the next generations, so that they can shout like all the women of the world and say ‘I am a woman, I am free’, I have wings to fly.
The women of my country have always believed that one day the sun will rise from behind the mountains and turn this darkness into light.
I am also one of them, one of the women of my country who fights, and crosses borders and I know that, like a free swallow wherever I go, I will make my nest stronger and I will share this feeling of flight and freedom with all the women of the world.
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