BY ABBY MAC
Something exciting happened. Something very exciting. I was published on www.mamamia.com.au. Some of you might not find that as exciting as you thought it was going to be, nonetheless, it was a big deal for me and if you want to read the article (WHICH YOU WILL. THERE’S NO CHOICE) you can click on this link –
For those of you who haven’t read the post, yet, I will quickly summarise it. In support of my Mum, I frequently work with her local Zonta Club (an international women’s organization dedicated to aiding women worldwide) for various events and causes. One of the events was a united walk to advocate ending violence against women. The event has been and gone, very successfully I might add, however, just because this is the case, it doesn’t mean that conversation should end on domestic violence or my article is no longer relevant.
My article, though intended to create awareness for the walk, was based upon providing voices to the women, men and children who are silenced due to domestic violence. I questioned the value in just walking and how that could possibly stop domestic violence. The truth is, it didn’t. But, that wasn’t the reason behind walking. We walked to show a support network of women and men who were calling on political, social and cultural change to the epidemic that domestic violence is. We were the people that may not have had the abilities to change laws or authoritative practice, but we were and will continue to be the people who had a voice and decided to get up and use it. Like we all should.
Using your voice shouldn’t just be limited to domestic violence. Anything. Use it for anything you’re passionate about and where horrible wrongs must be ended. I often hear people complaining that they don’t know how to make change. They haven’t got the resources, public profile or time to try and be heard, they say. That may be true. But, what they do have is undeniably the biggest asset one could possess and that is right to their voice. Unlike the victims of domestic violence, they aren’t being silenced. The only thing stopping them, or you, is all the reasons which you concoct in your mind to not do something.
A couple of nights ago, I watched a documentary named Girl Rising (http://www.girlrising.com/), which I must say is the most moving and emotional films I have watched. It shows stories of nine girls who have been empowered or want to be empowered with education. One of the most startling and incredible facts I learnt is that providing a girl with an education is one of the most rewarding (economically, physically, socially) investments that an individual, government or country can make. I think that’s quite amazing.
Listening to both the horrific and heart-warming stories of these girls aged from seven to 15, what I learnt is that these girls were born into countries where they have been subject to evil acts and silenced whether it be due to culture, religion, threats of violence, rape or death, lack of or no education or seemingly no resources to be heard and yet, these girls and many more of them, are speaking out and being listened to. I sit in Australia, a country rich in resources, where free speech is encouraged, you can be heard in so many mediums from social media to a democratic political stage and yet too many of us sit in silence, or we limit our opinions or desire for change to the dining room table. Well, to put in bluntly, how very weak, cowardly and just wrong is that of us. We have education. We have knowledge. And we have a voice.
So, get up and use it.
What are you passionate about? How are you promoting or making change?