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Join the Conversation! What is your One Thing for ending Violence Against Women?

If you could choose just one thing that could be a catalyst in the work of ending violence against women, what would that be? There are many ideas, concepts, calls to action… sometimes so many we become frozen. Numerous individuals and groups have already taken action and raised their voice, yet change seems slow to come, if at all.

There are endless questions and topics surrounding Gender Based Violence/Violence Against Women, but this day we would like to ask for One Thing...

What do you see as vital? Does change start with a word or a step? A thought or an attitude? Does it begin within ourselves or on a global scale?

There is no singular answer, nor is there necessarily a correct one. Your ideas may be used for future discussion topics and action plans as we continue to grow this Gender Based Violence topic page. Raise your voice! It will be heard!

Comments

MariaAle's picture

Gracias!

Grattitude Cali for sharing your post. As I read it, a lot of words, phrases, life moments froze in my mind and stopped to trying to think about in only one thing. Like you said there are never ending topics , but for sure coming from my Country "Mexico "where we are daily facing Violence against Women's as a result of insecurity or cultural "MACHISMO" and where every place in the world should EQUALITY be essential to human life and well-being. We are desperately for actions, answers, new strategies, problem solving, help!

An objective thought become an idea and with full conviction and attitude is possible to make the first step,and with Courage and giving all, someday we will be able to contribute in one woman , group of women's and on an on to become global.

How women are stepping out to face their challenges and feel protected thanks many organizations like World pulse.
How education is never too late for everyone!

Thank you for inspiring me to wake up every day with my life mission "ENDING VIOLENCE" knowing that is possible to make it happen.

Sincerely,
MariaAle

Maria Alejandra Alcaraz

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Dear MariaAle- Thank you for

Dear MariaAle-
Thank you for such a thoughtful reply, and for your feedback on this discussion thread. I agree that thought needs to have conviction behind it for action to take place. Courage, too. So many women in this community have more courage than I could ever imagine.

Please encourage your network to respond to this thread as well. The more ideas the better!

Again, thank you for sharing!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

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kellyannaustin's picture

so important!

Michelle,

It is so difficult to narrow down, as you say. Safety from harm is certainly vital, but I think it is perhaps even more important to help a woman discover that she has a voice people want to hear, that she can make her own decisions, that she can love herself through the ups and downs of living, that she is not defined by her abuser. Independence of spirit is one of the toughest things to achieve, but perhaps the most healing.

Wishing you peace,
Kelly

Kelly

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Kelly- Thanks for your input.

Kelly-
Thanks for your input. I do agree that we can not be defined by what happens to us- I took way to long to arrive at that conclusion for myself. Through the WP community I have come to appreciate that women continue to be heard, and to find support and resources to become the independent woman they were created to be!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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kellyannaustin's picture

So do I. World Pulse is such

So do I. World Pulse is such a fabulous forum. Thank you for listening to me. :)

Wishing you peace,

Kelly

E'KA's picture

Merci!

Chère Galli,
Merci pour votre réflexion. Ceci vient de m’encourager à penser à quelque chose de mieux et de différant. Je suis de la RDC et chez moi, la violence basée sur le genre est devenu routine. Certaines personnes ont tendance à la rendre normale. Je crois Sincèrement qu'il est temps que les choses changent et par nous les femmes.

Sincèrement!

E'ka

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Cheer E'ka-Merci pour vos

Chere E'ka-
Merci pour vos idées. Il est temps pour un changement. Nous sommes ensemble pour mettre fin à la violence contre les femmes!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Y's picture

I would like to see

I would like to see universally accessible and free birth control used by all women of child-birth age who can't offer their children safety and the resources necessary to grow into adults with education and independent means of safety and support.

Until women refuse to create soldiers and slaves, those who continue to control and crush our world with fear will continue with their methods.

Yvette

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Y- I appreciate your response

Y-
I appreciate your response to One Thing! I think we as a WP community can agree that fear is not the answer! Let us continue to give hope. Thank you!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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MyrnaPadilla's picture

Focus on Mothers...

I would like to see the world put resources into a focused program to do one thing exceptionally well... teach mothers to be good mothers. Teach the Mothers of little boys how to raise sons who will grow up to be men who are compelled to respect the women in their lives. Teach the Mothers of little girls how to become vocal advocates for teaching the Mothers of little boys to do their job properly. My one thing is a focus on the Mothers of the world to get the job done right in the first place.

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Myma- Thank you for your

Myma-
Thank you for your thoughts... Mothers do hold much power, and have the ability show their sons and daughters values we hold dear, raising them to exhibit respect of human life.

Thank you for your One Thing!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Carrie Lee's picture

My One Thing is to allow the

My One Thing is to allow the imagination of a violence-free world to break open our hearts. To have the courage to believe what we know to be true in our hearts, that the world is good and beautiful, despite what our minds tell us, despite what logic tries to trump.

All activism aimed at ending gender-based violence must be creative---it must be active AND receptive. Willing to recognize the gifts of others, and support them in releasing their gifts.

Imagine and meditate on a world full of young girls growing up with a sense of meaning and a knowing that the gifts they have to offer are worthy. With an inner and outer freedom to imagine and create new ways. Young boys growing into men with their feminine capacities un-compromised. That ONE THING is the catalyst. World Pulse helps to harness this intelligent energy!!!

Thank you so much Michelle for this question!

Carrie

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Carrie- So much I could

Carrie-
So much I could say... But I will just give a resounding AMEN to your words. Thank you for this! Love it!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Leina's picture

Thank you Michelle for this

Thank you Michelle for this thought provoking question!If I could make every woman find her voice,I know for sure violence is going to end.It`s a germ that is fertilized by silence.
hugs,
Leina

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Break the silence! Yes! We

Break the silence! Yes! We all MUST continue to bring gender violence into our conversations. Your words are hauntingly poetic. Thank you.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Mary S's picture

I think that more men should

I think that more men should be encouraged to speak out against it. Sometimes it is seen as a "women's issue" and mostly spoken about by women. and maybe some men would be more inclined to listen to the message if it comes from another man.

Mary

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Mary- I agree that bringing

Mary-
I agree that bringing men into the collective conversation is a vital part of ending gender violence. I like to think of it as we as a human collective can speak together as one until everyone's ears and hearts are opened and provoked to action. Thank you for your thoughts!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

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mahi verma's picture

science can help

I read something may be it can help in this direction,
“Scientists have somehow missed definitions of gender in human beings,” states Dr. Makarand Fulzele. Insights gained from years of practice as surgeon makes him wonder if indeed we have overlooked facts staring in our face. Nature has a tendency to hide many secrets but at the same time it provides enough clues to unravel its mysteries. Dr. Fulzele picks up loose threads from life to stitch together the theory that man is an extension of woman in his new book, “Man Is the Extension of Woman: Know the Ultimate Truth about Yourself” (published by iUniverse). Dr. Fulzele’s book explores similarities between men and women against the backdrop of their genetic differences, physical variations, and emotional and intellectual dissimilarities. Dr. Fulzele who is a successful surgeon further explains in his book: The main hypothesis I discuss in this book is that, if a woman lives long enough she will be converted into a man physically. A similar thing can also be stated about man. It is wrong to categorize humankind into two genders as it implicates that they are extremely dissimilar and physically opposite to each other. I try to prove that man and woman are just two different stages of one developmental process. And physically they are very similar. The ideas presented may sound unconventional but Dr. Fulzele implores readers to consider his point of view with an open mind. “Your world will not change if you do not agree with me. But if you agree with me, how does it change your world? If more people agree with you and me, how does it change our world? The possibilities are limitless.”

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Thank you, Mahi for your

Thank you, Mahi for your thoughts. We are all more similar than different, deserve the same rights and respect, and should listen and care for each other as we are all we've got. Let's keep exploring steps we can take right now to end violence.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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heidigjr's picture

attitudes

Change starts with attitudes. People need to stop discrediting what women are saying because of her gender and see women as equals. Sure, many people say they do, but actions speak otherwise. Just my two cents.

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Thank you, Heidi for your

Thank you, Heidi for your comments. Changing attitudes and respect of women seems to be a theme here. We can keep saying it and showing it until it is understood- that all are equal and deserve to be treated with respect.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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I want to echo what Kelly said, about the paramount importance of loving and embracing and accepting ourselves, UNCONDITIONALLY.

I believe that if each and every one of us can learn to do this--men and women--then violence will end. It doesn't matter how much we mess up or how long it takes us to stop messing up, we have to practice patience and tenderness with ourselves, and continue offering ourselves a forgiving and loving heart. Over and over. No matter what. If we do this, then compassion towards others becomes possible as well as an opening for peace.

To learn to do this, we need tools, and that's why I'm heartened that the "mindfulness" movement is continually gaining strength and momentum. For example, meditation is increasingly being taught in prisons, giving "hardened criminals" a new way to relate to themselves and the world--an opportunity to soften and get in touch with their hearts again.

This is such a compelling, thought-provoking, and beautiful question. Thank you, Michelle, for asking it!

Love to you,
Susan

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Hi Susan- So many powerful

Hi Susan-
So many powerful words and thoughts in this thread! I think that our 'golden rule' of 'treat others as you would treat yourself' is so true: those that don't respect or love themselves (in the purest sense of the word) will in fact treat others as they treat themselves: hatred of self leads to hatred of others; keeping in mind that arrogance is the same as self-loathing.

So let us be mindful...an accurate view of self, an accurate view of others, and openness to change that which needs to be changed.

This gives me an idea... maybe we can create a 'day of mindfulness' where we come together at one time and for a few minutes practice loving (ie:accurately seeing) ourselves and those around us. It could be contagious!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Susan K.A.'s picture

great idea!

I love the idea of all practicing mindfulness and self-love at the same time. What day and time should we do it? Maybe on Valentine's day (this Friday?) By the way, another answer to your "One Thing" question could be dancing this Friday, for V-day, when we can all dance together for the end of violence against women!

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Susan- I do like the idea of

Susan- I do like the idea of Valentines day, although I don't think we could get enought momentum. Let's talk offline about dates and how to get the word out!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Greengirl's picture

A question and advice for men.

QUESTION: How would you like to be treated if you were a woman or girl?
ADVICE: Treat every woman and girl the way you would want to be treated if you were them!

I wish you the very best Michelle in your quest to find, listen to and explore the answers and solutions to the very important question you asked.

Blessings and regards,
Greengirl

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Thank you, Olanike, for your

Thank you, Olanike, for your comments. You are not alone in your views, and your actions are very much appreciated.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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shahd's picture

It must start with ourselves

Thanks for sharing this page with me Cali. I think it should all start from ourselves. If we, as individuals realized the size of the issue, it will effortlessly reach the globe. the more we talk about it, the more we try to take action, the more people will understand and the word will spread.

As a woman, I hate it when they ask me to ignore things and enjoy my life cause things will change someday. NO, I think we should not just ignore and enjoy, but rather fight for change by all means.

Changing our views and the way we see things is the first step.

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Shahd- Thank you for sharing

Shahd-
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Beginning with ourselves is an important step to be sure! Let's keep talking, sharing, questioning and pushing for action.

I hope to consolidate all these comments to come up with an action step or two we can take together.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Marie Louise's picture

Inner peace will expose outer peace

What a great collection of wisdom in all that is discussed here. What a great question to open up to humanity - thank you. If one thing was to solve an outdated reactive behaviours happening in the world today - not exclusive to a gender, race, socio status, religion or institution. I would say self love is where true transformation can take place for inner and outer worlds. The effect abuse and violence on women has on men, has the ripple effect for sons, brothers, fathers and families in general, making its way into the community and world as a whole. These states of inner turmoil reflect in the reactive behaviours we see in the world today, where war, violence and fear are generated.

Overcoming my personal experience of child sexual abuse, rape and constant life of silent self sabotage, self loathing, guilt, shame and blame. Discovering, healing and peeling the layers of who I thought I was has exposed and empowered this life experience of mine to share the space of love, voice, peace as a possiblity for individuals to contribute to the space of peace on this planet.

Awareness and personal responsibility to the self, changes the world we as individuals live, in turn transforming the world on a whole. Expanding awareness of the possibility that any micro effort to the self has the macro effect.

Whether we work with one or many, the micro to the macro moves mountains. Finding personal peace empowers people all over the world. Owning that responsibility for myself has transformed this life of mine and I believe in all of my heart this will change the world, When we as individuals open to the inner - life will never be the same.

Love this Life
Marie Louise

Marie Louise-
Apologies for this delayed reply. These are powerful words you have penned here. Self love can indeed be a powerful force for change. As we are aware of and love ourselves, we can then be aware of and love others, the ripple-effect of which can effect so many. I am sorry to hear of past struggles- the unjust things you suffered. What an inspiration to see you using it for good, choosing to not be bitter.

I do hope with you for others to know what personal peace is. We are most effective in this world when we can first love ourselves.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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fidelity's picture

hello Cali, thanks for asking

hello Cali,
thanks for asking for our ideas. one thing i would like to say in order to end gender violence is, "empower women holistically" when women have resources, knowledge, self esteem, self acceptance, ability to solve their problems and have a voice. they are able to put their foot down and say this one, i a gree this one i disagree. we my spend all out time on the street, media raising the voice of the voiceless but when they do not have power to change their situtation the cycle will always continue. if women for instance are economically empowered they have the ability to set generate income and not depend on their spouse so much on providing their for their families, they share responsibilities, involved in decision making. when have nothing they are denied the opportunity of making decision and the decision made by others are not always to the interest of this women. empower women holistically this is my voice.

fidelis

Fidelis-
Sincere apologies for this delayed reply. Thank you for sharing your voice. We hear it! It seems a these here that empowering women can lead to a great many changes, especially when women are financially empowered. It is a fact that most micro-loan NGO's lend money to the Women! Because then the income gained will be spent on the chlldren, and by empowering and educating our children we will change the whole paradigm.

Thank you for rasing your voice!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
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Keating's picture

Why is consent taken away

Hi ..

Thanks for sharing these questions.

I get a great sense that the power struggle wrapped around ending violence has allot to do with the collective mind of the patriarchal dominance.

Consent and boundaries has been my biggest lessons to learn for many years.

We need the world Governments to see that choice is something every gender-every person would be best to have as part of everyday thinking.

If certain Governments do not believe that every single person deserves choice, how can there be a stop to violence on women.

Choice also is a partner to consent.

Consent has become a powerful word for myself because if I don't give a person consent to enter my personal space, then any person that tries to enter my personal space has no right to be there.

Boundaries.

If the Governments around the world do not come together and put in place strong boundaries in regard to men and their actions towards women, how is any man going to understand in certain cultures, that they have no right to bash, rape, abuse in any kind of way towards women and children.

Thanks for this post- It is something I strongly wish would come to an International Emergency - An International Crisis is here in regard to Violence against women, children and even men killing and torturing each other as if it is just another normal day.

How can this so called normality of violence men feel they are living in, be addressed, when the Governments around the world are not seeing this as an International Crisis of Violence around the Globe.

men will only start to really take on board what they are doing, when Violence against women and children is exposed of as crossing:

BOUNDARIES with-

NO CONSENT given to do so.

Men need to be armed with the right understanding of what their actions create.

The domino effect in this, is that men still think that they can do this to women and children (and other men in some case), due to the Governments around the world not pulling together to arm the abusers with the knowledge of the above said words I stated here.

Men need just as much knowledge in regard to how their minds work and what they need to work on within themselves- just as we women need.

We all need to keep reaching for our own inner unique voice- and that takes allot of time and working on ourselves and getting to know our fears-dislikes-likes etc.

This is what men need to do too. There's no point in just having our own voices and telling men what they should and shouldn't do,

We all need to be treated as equals and be shown how we can better deal with our own emotions and that includes men in our worlds.

Once again .. Thanks so much for this post.

Sincerely

Robby

Robby-
What you have to say here is indeed powerful and quite thought-provoking. I hear your points regarding love of self, and action from governments. I think there is an innate challenge in convincing some- maybe many- governments to act. So many in power are men, and/or do not see these acts and attitudes towards women anything but normal. I could say a lot more, but will just end with this: Let us all keep talking, brain-storming, holding each other up to work towards these necessary and very urgent issues! Thank you for such a thoughtful response here!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

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@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Kabukabu Ikwueme's picture

Change begins within

Change begins within ourselves and as we metamorphosis, we influence those around us through our attitude and actions. This in turn has an effect on the communities we live in and will undoubtedly have a ripple effect as those in our communities share the positive changes with the world at large.

I am also on tweeter and now following you. You can follow back:

@kabukabuikwueme

Kabukabu-
Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I am currently working to summarize these amazing responses- there are many similar thoughts here.

All the best to you-

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
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@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

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