“One Billion Rising” is becoming synonymous with Valentine’s Day. A day when a call was made last year by Eve Ensler to all women and men to rise against the violence perpetrated towards women – one in three women worldwide suffer some form of violent abuse – physical, mental, emotional, sexual etc., that often tragically leads to brutal murders. Many towns, cities and countries have heard the call and organised peaceful rallys and danced demanding justice.
We have gathered in my hometown too to honor that call and stand together against the injustices. This year I did not have time to organise a rally locally – thought about it but didn’t, couldn’t whatever…for many reasons, tired being one of the most important ones, I did not do anything so far and it is a bit too late to call and gather in a public place. But it is never too late to pick up a pen and write about it like this powerful article titled “Beneath the Tree in India” written by author Isabelle Allende how she supports women through her foundation.
All I can offer this year is the poem “I Am A Woman” written by Lebanese Poet Joumana Haddad and hope that these words give the strength and inspiration for all the women to know, recognise and honor their true power.
“I Am A Woman” – by Joumana Haddad (Translated by Issa J Boullata)
Nobody can guess What I say when I am silent,
Whom I see when I close my eyes,
How I am carried away when I am carried away,
What I search for when I stretch my hands.
Nobody, nobody knows
When I am hungry, when I take a journey,
When I walk,and when I am lost.
And nobody knows That my going is a return
And my return is my abstention,
That my weakness is a mask
And my strength is a mask,
And that what is coming is a tempest.
They think they know
And I let them think so,
And I speak
They put me in a cage so that
My freedom may be a gift from them,
And I have to thank them and obey.
But I am free before them, after them,
With them, without them.
I am free in my suppression, in my defeat.
My prison is what I want!
The key to the prison may be their tongue,
But their tongue is twisted around my desire’s fingers
And my desire they can never command.
I am a Woman.
They think they own my freedom.
I let them think so,
And I speak.
So, Rise, Strike and Dance to this tune and celebrate being a woman knowing your strengths and silent power that no one can steal away from you. Be amazed at yourself….You are beautiful!!!!
Until next time
With Love and Respect