Hello Sisters and Brothers, I’d like to read to you some words written by and on behalf of Million Women Rise.
There is a place where words are born of silence…..
where screams of the heart arise…. (adapted from Rumi by women who are outraged).
This speech is dedicated to the women of Afghanistan who were sold false promises of equality.
For the women of Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo who were raped and abused as the rest of the world looked away.
For the women of the Congo who are being raped and abused while the rest of the world continues to look away.
For women across the so called “civilised world” who live in a society where the conviction rate for rape has fallen to less than 6%, and 2 women a week die as a consequence of the violence against them.
And to Andrea Dworkin, who fought for the right of all women to die free.
In April 2005, Andrea did not die free but she left us all a legacy to remember. Her legacy is one of passion for justice, determination for freedom for women and children and a belief that violence against women is in no – way – inevitable.
We have also been told she would have been over the moon with the recent victory in the House of Lords clause 14, the Object and Eaves Demand Change campaign … a real date to mark in our women’s liberation calendar.
Well done wimmin! It - is our time.
We should never, not do something just because we fear failure or buy into what keeps the system of oppression ticking over, divide and rule, greed and competition, bullying and undermining, the mass grooming of women and girls to remain objects for men to do with what they want, when and how.
Total power and control.
Even over us, so called emancipated women and men.
Our freedom is an illusion as long as the majority of our sisters in the UK and across the world are suffering.
We march and gather not just for our selves but also for the Billions of women who have been murdered, beaten, hurt, incarcerated and raped over the decades and as I speak.
Male violence against women and children is not inevitable. Men can take a stand against this and indeed there are examples of men who are doing just that with the white ribbon campaign.
Today , we stand before the men in this rally… inviting them to be the ones who ‘do more’ because we… are doing… all that we can.
And while we continue with our struggle, we invite men to self organise, join men’s groups, challenge oppressive attitudes in pubs and clubs, engage with the debates, and ask yourself awkward questions about what it is you may need to give up or change to end violence against women and children.
In order for us to truly end male violence against women we need to have a shared vision… that what seems impossible is possible.
A world free of male violence. A world free of rape.
In this year Agness Baker Pilgrim from Grandmothers Council said … We are at a threshold… We are going to see change. If we can create… the vision in our heart, it – will – spread. As women of wisdom we cannot be divided. As bringers of light, we have no choice but to join together…
So to every man and boy child here tonight we want to be clear.
We believe that there is nothing inevitable about what is done to women and children by men.
We believe there is nothing innate about men being the perpetrators of violence.
We believe that things can change and men too can make a difference.
Brothers - when will we see you marching on the streets demanding an end to male violence against women?
To every woman and girl child we have come to a point were we cannot ignore the pandemic of male violence against women in the UK and worldwide.
And I hope you can understand that we would never deny our brothers pain when it comes to the pains of poverty hunger violence and racism…
But it will be women and children who are the first to suffer and the last to be acknowledged within those same oppressions. That, is a fact!
It’s time to acknowledge and free ourselves from this oppression, this fear, the mass post traumatic stress we face as women, the lack of freedom, the spirit that has been worn down, by working at home, in the work place, on the street, debt, credit cards all the things that drain us and keep us under manners.
It is time to rise into our creativity and imagination with a clear intent that male violence is – not – inevitable.
A new day is calling – it is time for us to rise and continue to mobilise and honour the sistahs and brothers who fought before us.
It is time to rise and take our place in fighting for the girl child and woman of seven generations to come!!!
It is time to rise and prepare for success Women.
Dream Bold! and remember you are never alone.
Across the world and in the UK are women who have dedicated their lives to ending this violence; we have the answers and things are changing but we’ve just gone into fifth gear. All our hard work is paying off but we need to sustain it, keep talking, keep overcoming our differences and continue working together to demand that this war against women stops – now. Change the laws that – oppress, discriminate and murder women now!
Calling a million woman rise.
Our united goal is to end violence against women, in all its forms… violence against Women through no recourse to public funds, the global sex trafficking of women and children, the withholding of medication from women and children who are dying unnecessarily from HIV/Aids in Africa and across the world, violence against women in war, so called honour crimes, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, prostitution, violence through control of single mothers, domestic violence, rape, pornography, the mass grooming of women and girls.
The list goes on.
We have had enough of being lied to, humiliated, made invisible, seen but not heard and not taken seriously.
We are witnessing THE RAPE OF THE EARTH and THE RAPE OF WOMAN.
We demand an end to male violence against women and we don’t intend to stop until we get what we want.
Andrea once said, what will women do? Is there a plan? If not, why not? Well we say…
You are the ones to rise
You are the Womens Liberation Movement
3rd Wave 4th, 5th ANY WAVE YOU WANT but we rise INTERCONNECTED we are strong
For the common good we are STRONG and together we – will end male violence against women and children and in our life times.
We plan to march and gather again
Join us Million Women Rise
All Womens March
Saturday 6th March 2010
EACH ONE TEACH ONE…….EACH SISTAH BRING A SISTAH
Organise, become activists in the home and in the streets. Lets do more.
Together we can create a world free of male violence.
Sign the statement of demands
Sign the petition for International women day to be a bank holiday…join the ‘ban no recourse campaign’ and support the women and children of Palestine, whose daily onslaught of multiple attacks within their homes and on the streets has continued, far too long. SAY No !!! to male violence – and remember Women United WILL not be defeated.
One Woman, One Body, One Song, One Love, One People.
It is good!
Million Women Rise. 21 November 2009.
This speech was put together by Tracey Carboni, Ranjit Kaur, Ange Jones, Tanja Canning, Rif Sherif, Sabrina Qureshi, Fatina Liza, Gem Novis, Nina Kelly and Zubeda Metlo.