To be a woman, independent, free, healthy, happy, and alive on the 25th of November 2008, is something I personally feel very appreciative of. Many of my sisters do not share this.Today is White Ribbon Day.
"White Ribbon Day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man's massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women.
"In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and the White Ribbon has become the symbol for the day."
"Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world"
(Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General)
"At least one out of every three women worldwide are beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with rates reaching 70% in some countries."
"Today hundreds of thousands of white ribbons are worn by men and women across Australia - men at work; men and women in all Australian police forces; men in national and local sporting matches and organisations; men in the media; men and women in politics; men in the defence forces; men and women in capital cities and in rural and regional Australia.
The campaign continues to go from strength to strength and now boasts more than 230 white ribbon Ambassadors Australia wide, as well as more events across the country and more organisations and individuals participating year upon year.
The following nations participate in White Ribbon Day: Africa: Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda
East Asia: Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Tonga, Vietnam
Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru
Middle East / Former USSR: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel, Russia South
Asia:Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka"
(from White Ribbon Site..) http://www.whiteribbonday.org.au/Welcome-64.aspx
"Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us. "
"Women are the worst affected from any kind of violence - be it domestic, development-related or that caused by corporate polluters like Union Carbide. It is up to us, the women, to join hands across the world and keep the fight for justice and against violence alive and unwavering."
Rashida Bee, Bhopal Gas Affected Women's Stationery Union, and winner of the Goldman Environment Prize 2004
I think of, pray for, and celebrate life for my sisters today... (Me).
Although You have shackled my feet,
I am free.
Although You have chained my hands,
I am free.
Although You have enslaved my body,
I am free.
I am free because I am not of the body.
I am free because I am not the body,
I am free because I am the soul-bird
That flies in Infinity- Sky.
I am the soul-child that dreams
On the Lap of the immortal King Supreme.
(The Soul Bird~ Sri Chinmoy).
...and a little poetry celebration of some of my favorite female poets...
Still I Rise
(by Maya Angelou)
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?'
Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard'
Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Touched by An Angel
by Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.
Understand Old One
by Oodgeroo Noonuccal
What if you came back now
To our new world, the city roaring
There on the old peaceful camping place
Of your red fires along the quiet water,
How you would wonder
At towering stone gunyas high in air
Planes in the sky over,
swarms of cars
Like things frantic in flight.
by Anais Nin
And then the day came,
when the risk to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took to Blossom.
by Sarojini Naidu
Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.
Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?
by Nimah Nawwab
How her spiritHaunts,Hooks,Entices us all!
Will the time come
For my ideas to roam
Across this vast land’s deserts,
Through the caverns of the Empty Quarter?
For my voice to be sent forth,
Crying out in the stillness of a quiet people,
A voice among the voiceless?
For my thoughts, that hurl around
In a never-ending spiral,
Mature, grow and flourish
In a barren wasteland of shackled minds?
Will my spirit be set free—To soar above the undulating palm fronds?
Will my essence and heart be unfettered,
Of man-made Thou Shall Nots?
by Lisa Zaran
She said she collects pieces of sky,
cuts holes out of it with silver scissors,
bits of heaven she calls them.
Every day a bevy of birds flies rings around her fingers,
my chorus of wives, she calls them.
Every day she reads poetry from dusty books she borrows from the library,
sitting in the park,
she smiles at passing strangers,
yet can not seem to shake her own sad feelings.
She said that night reminds her of a cool hand placed gently across her fevered brow,
said she likes to fall asleep beneath the stars,
that their streaks of light make her believe that she too is going somewhere.
she whispers as she closes her eyes,
descending into thin air,
where no arms outstretch to catch her.