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Today, I will rise.

Today, I will rise.
I will rise for every woman, named or unnamed. I will rise for every girl, African or European, Asian, American or Australian. I will rise for every girl, every woman, who has faced crime: reported or unreported. I will rise for every girl, every woman, who has survived a difficult life.
I will rise for Aruna Shanbaug. I will rise for Kunan Poshpora. I will rise for Jyoti Singh Pandey. I will rise for Aarushi Talwar. I will rise for Lara Logan, just as I will rise for Bhanwari Devi. I will rise for Malala Yousufzai. I will rise for Manal al-Sharif. I will rise for the girl who was raped and murdered in South Africa. I will rise for Rihanna, I will rise for Ashley Judd, I will rise for Alice Walker, I will rise for Christina Aguilera. I will rise for the children of Nithari. I will rise for the Blue-Bra girl in Egypt. I will rise for every girl that has gone to hell and back, suffering sexual violence. I will rise for every nameless, faceless girl and every woman, who for the media and the government have been a statistic in proof of sexual violence. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.
I will rise for the women that are beaten in the secret confines of their homes. I will rise for the little girls that are sexually abused at the hands of a trusted relative, or a trusted friend. I will rise for the women that suffer marital rape, as the law surpasses them because there is “no rape in anything marital”. I will rise for the myriads of women that are raped every day – literally and figuratively as men disrobe them with their lewd eyes. I will rise for every woman that is verbally abused, sexually harassed and treated below par with her male counterpart. I will rise for every woman that is not taken seriously for her talents and skills, but dissected and booed for the way she looks. I will rise for every girl who is married off before she knows what it is to be a woman. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.
I will rise for my sisters in the DR Congo, against the rape and sexual violence they face. I will rise for my sisters in Nigeria and Somalia, who face the detrimental threat of genital mutilation and sexual abuse. I will rise for my sisters in Afghanistan, for whom education is a distant dream while domestic violence keeps her subservient. I will rise for my sisters in India, who struggle to stay alive in the womb and after. I will rise for my sisters in the Middle East where the sword of honour hangs on their heads, ready to sacrifice them at the altar of familial honour. I will rise for my sisters in South East Asia where they are trafficked against their will, and made slaves to sex-trade. I will rise for the women in Libya, who were raped with governmental sanction under the dictator’s regime. I will rise for women in Egypt who had to undergo forced virginity tests to determine their “chastity”. I will rise for women in Syria, who suffer sexual violence while grappling with civil war. I will rise for my sisters in Nepal, who suffer without enough to eat, and get labelled as “witches” if they are widows. I will rise for my sisters in Sudan, where the janjaweed militia have used rape as a weapon. I will rise for my sisters in Guatemala, where gruesome murders thrived, killing plenty of women and leaving hate messages scrawled on their bodies. I will rise for my sisters in Mali, one in ten of which die in pregnancy or childbirth. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.
And I will rise, for every man that supports women and the cause for women. I will rise for Dr. Mukwege of the Panzi Hospital, for his every initiative to help women recover from the nasty aftermath of sexual violence. I will rise for Greg Mortensen, for his every step towards educating girls in Afghanistan. I will rise for Nicholas Kristoff, for recognizing and endorsing that women DO hold up half the sky. I will rise for Barack Obama, for protecting and endorsing the rights of women over their bodies. I will rise for every man that respects women, not just in word, but in conduct, unfailingly. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.
I will rise against rape. I will rise against sexual harassment. I will rise against domestic violence. I will rise against verbal abuse. I will rise against discrimination. I will rise against child marriage. I will rise against deprivation. I will rise against female genital mutilation. I will rise against sex-trade. I will rise against lack of healthcare. I will rise against lack of education. I will rise against patriarchy. I will rise against inhuman, derogatory behaviour. I will rise against the crassness. I will rise against the unhealthy notion that a woman is property. I will rise against rules that make demands over a woman’s dressing sense. I will rise against the distasteful portrayal of women in mainstream media. I will rise against fathers, brothers, grandfathers and uncles who abuse their daughters, sisters and granddaughters, and I will rise against the women in these families who let these happen to their girls. I will rise against the glass ceiling. I will rise against everything that reinforces the wrong notion that women aren’t significant. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.
I will Strike, Rise and Dance. For each survivor. For none of them are victims.

Comments

Lea's picture

Very powerful

Dear Kirthijay,
Your article was so powerful. I felt shivers down my spine after reading it. I can't tell you how incredible your article is. Your article is the reason why we are rising and we are showing support for all those women who have experience abuse, humiliation, rape, who have had their rights taken away from them. You address every single injustice that many women around the world are faced with today.
I went to a demonstration today to participate in the One Billion Rising campaign and really wish that you had been there to read your article aloud to the crowd so that they could be moved, feel empowered, and hear with open minds and hearts the names of victims, but also of people (men and women) who are taking a stand and who are fighting for women's rights. We need to be reminded why we are dancing and what this movement is about. We need to listen and to empathize, to mobilize ourselves, to educate, and more importantly to support those women and girls.
Thank you for telling us why we are rising today!

kirthijay's picture

Oh my! Lea! I am so grateful

Oh my! Lea! I am so grateful to you for saying that! Thank you, thank you for reading,
thank you for empowering me with your confidence, and thank you for being a sister!

Wendyiscalm's picture

Great article

Kirthij

This is a great article and you are a profound amazing person, role model and catalyst, making each one of us examine who we are and what we are doing, forcing us to examine and improve on what our contribution is for people and the world.

Thank you.

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

WOW! Thank you so much,

WOW! Thank you so much, Wendy! <3
Kirthi

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi

Thank you. I

I have never seen a sideways heart before. I don't know how you did that. This is a first for me. Haha

Namaste,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Vega Tom's picture

Rise up!

This is so powerful and beautiful - thank you so much!

kirthijay's picture

Wendy, here's more! <3 <3 <3

Wendy, here's more! <3 <3 <3 <3

Vega, THANK YOU!

Wendyiscalm's picture

HAHA HAHA

Kirthijay,

You really caught me by surprise which almost nobody does. I am laughing out loud with the hearts. Your feistiness and warm humor reminds me of myself. Now I think I see how you did that.

On a more serious note, I am copying your article on paper, making many copies and bringing them to the women in Livingstone Zambia when I go in March. So, you are an energy who will make a difference there also.

Love and Ubuntu(I am who I am because of who we are together).

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

Oh my, Wendy! I am so

Oh my, Wendy! I am so honoured! Thank you, my dear sister, thank you so much! <3 <3

Right - so to the hearts:
Step 1: Press shift and press down the "comma" key so you get this: <
Step 2: Without a space, press 3

And then you get <3 :) :)

Wendyiscalm's picture

Thanks Kirthijay.

Anybody who can teach ME a new computer skill from so far away, definitely has the potential for a bestseller book !

Haha

Love and Ubuntu,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

You are SO kind <3

You are SO kind <3

Wendyiscalm's picture

See

See, Kirthijan, I think you keep answering my messages because you like to make hearts ! Haha Haha !

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Greengirl's picture

Haha!

I caught and enjoyed the fun exchanges too!

Love,

Greengirl (BBG)

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hey

Hey,

BBG, where did you pop up from. Nice to see yoru smiling face.

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

Haha :) That, or I just like

Haha :) That, or I just like speaking with you! Haha!

JaniceW's picture

I am so moved by your writing.

Kirthi, I am almost at a loss for words. Your writing is so powerful and so deeply inspiring. You raise the optimism, urgency and deep dignity violations that persist all together into one compelling call. Thank you for rising up with such passion, courage and strength.

kirthijay's picture

That is so kind of you,

That is so kind of you, Janice! I am really touched that you think of my writing as worthy of your attention, and of your compliments.

Everyone who read this and/or commented on this entry, I thank you for welcoming and appreciating me for being me.

Sutanuka Banerjee's picture

Great... Go ahead :)

Great... Go ahead :)

I live in my convoluted mind....

kirthijay's picture

:)

:)

Greengirl's picture

Great Kirthijay!

You are a strong woman and a symbol of hope. Every word echoed your strength and passion for positive change. Thank you so much for rising up on behalf of everyone of us.

Much love,

Greengirl.

kirthijay's picture

<3 <3 Thank you!

<3 <3
Thank you!

Precious M's picture

That's what we are talking about!

Now Kirthijay, That's what what we are talking about. Rising up for those women who have been violated in one way or the other. It is not about sitting down and doing nothing. It is about taking action. That is what you just did! You have spoken for the violence and inspired us to keep fighting for women all over the world.

Thank you!

My pen speaks

Wendyiscalm's picture

Guess who this is from?

Hi Kirthijay,

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Guess who this is from? Haha

<3

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Sutanuka Banerjee's picture

Interesting

ha ha ... stopped by the post and loved your conversation and the best part is about learning to send the 'computerized' hearts back in exchange of love... bye... take care all :)

I live in my convoluted mind....

kirthijay's picture

:)

:)

kirthijay's picture

WHOOHOOO!!!! Now that's what

WHOOHOOO!!!! Now that's what I call AMAZING! :) haha!

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi

I had a good art teacher! Haha

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

:) :)

:) :)

Wendyiscalm's picture

Your message

Hi Kirthijay,

Is this my new art lesson for the day? haha

Hope you are well and happy,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

Haha :) I am well and happy

Haha :) I am well and happy just seeing your comments! :)

Shilpa Balakrishnan's picture

Awesome writings....!

Go ahead......we all are with you...... :)
love
Shilpa....

Mukut's picture

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant. Sensitive and heart touching, your post actually brought tears to my eyes.Very beautifully put, truly heart touching and inspiring.

Well done. Love to you. And yes to continue the hearts thread, here are some more from
me <3<3.

Mukut Ray

kirthijay's picture

Thank you! And here's some

Thank you!

And here's some for you, too! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Wendyiscalm's picture

Hi Kirthijay

Dear Art teacher,

How am I doing? :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) Did I learn my art lesson well?

I think you know who this is from. Haha.

<3 I think you have started something with teaching me the hearts.

I have learned over the past few days, with our interchange, that it is good to laugh. As serious as our work is, it is really good for our bodies and minds to laugh and have fun and be light sometimes. Actually, I have read articles showing that certain chemicals in the body change when we laugh and that it is keeps disease away or helps a person recover from a disease sooner. A man Norman Cousins wrote a book "Anatomy Of An Illness" when he had a disease of the connective tissues that was fatal. He thought that he could not laugh and die at the same time. So, he had his wife bring in funny television shows and movies to the hospital. he watched them day and night and laughed. He lived another 50 years a good quality of life. So, here's to life <3 <3 <3 <3. Are you laughing yet?

And a very interesting thing happened. I looked at your profile. You are an amazing person who has a great future as a leader in the world. I can just feel it. BUT the part I am referring to is: Under "My Challenges" you put "Nothing". I also had the same answer. I have never seen that before.

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

Wendy! :) My superwoman! You

Wendy! :) My superwoman!

You are such a darling, really. It doesn't matter that we haven't met in person - just seeing your name and these sweet comments puts a smile on my face and keeps me pumped all day long! It's lovely just connecting with you - good laughter rings within, and does indeed resonate on the outside :)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Here's to Life, indeed!

Thank you for those wonderful words of faith you have in me, Wendy! I am truly blessed. Yes, I believe my challenges are Nothing. Not that it means that I am invincible, but that it means that I am not afraid.

Wendyiscalm's picture

Fearless tiger !

Hello, art teacher, fearless tiger and all the rest of you, Haha

You are the essence of what I mean when i say, we all have the same qualities but we each have a different combination of traits that makes us be who we are and do what we do and think as we think. You, dear fearless tiger, are blessed with a wonderful combination that will shine more than you can imagine in future years. You are just getting "cranked up" or started. (:

Love ya, <3

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Wendyiscalm's picture

P.S.

Forgot, Kirthijay,

The publisher you have in mind may be great and the one that is meant for you and you are comfortable with. But I would not rule out others. Perhaps you can google HAY HOUSE. They do the same as the one you were speaking of but on the LARGEST scale and are the most prestigious. In the US, literary agents, publishers and readers are always intrigued with foreign authors, especially with your credentials and title of the book. So, even if you get published in your country, your book could get picked up by an American publishing company also. I think this book has the potential for greatness.

Love,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

kirthijay's picture

<3 <3 YOU ARE THE BEST!

<3 <3 YOU ARE THE BEST!

Neema's picture

Proud to Rise With You

The Maman Shujaa with all the women rising in Congo were proud to rise with you on February 14th dear Kirthi.

We are together!

Neema

kirthijay's picture

<3 <3 Thank You Neema!

<3 <3
Thank You Neema!

Lylinaguas's picture

Great article as always

Just had to post this before I'm off to bed. The genuineness of your feelings exudes in your writing. It's very profound. Thanks for sharing. wonderful woman .:)

Lylin

kirthijay's picture

Thank you so much <3 <3

Thank you so much <3 <3

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