It’s Monday morning. Ugh. Wake up. Stretch your limbs. Pull the covers over your head in an attempt to blot out what today will bring. Misery awaits you. The world feels black and white.
Not because it’s Monday and the blissful weekend’s over. Because you’re a woman living in a world devoid of education, health and justice. For millions of females across the world, this is the reality they face everyday.
I was reading Cosmo on my train home this evening when I turned to its ‘Time For Action’ article. I’m going to be honest, before I’d read the piece, my mind was on other things entirely – probably whether I had enough edamame beans left for dinner. But when I started focusing on the figures before me, I was both enthralled and horrified.
Millions of women live in a world that thrives on injustice. Facts speak for themselves . According to the article, over 66 million girls miss out on school. Even worse, one in three will suffer from physical or sexual violence during her lifetime. One in three.
I remember visiting Norway a few years ago to meet with family friends, a lovely couple with two children. I was about ten. After we’d finished skiing for the day, we all went for a walk in a nearby forest.
My mother turned to me and my sisters when everyone was out of earshot and said,”Girls, whatever you do, never let yourself rely on a man. Ever. Get your degree. Support yourself.”
It was only recently that I discovered Carrie, the wife of my dad’s friend, had been a victim of serious domestic abuse.
It’s 2015 and yet women are still treated as possessions rather than people. There isn’t enough awareness about this – we live in a bubble. India’s current situation highlights this the most for me. Until recently, I was ignorant to just how appallingly females are treated.
The appealed conviction of the New Delhi 2012 gang rape (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31698154) has brought to the forefront the sheer lack of respect for the female gender. Her attackers placed sole blame on their victim for her death:
“A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night.”
Their words represent the general Indian consensus. In 2013, a British tourist resorted to breaking her legs to escape from the hotel owner that was attempting to rape her (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2295663/British-tourist-25-jumps-window-Indian-hotel-man-tries-rape-her.html).
I was told earlier this week of two British girls who boarded a train in India last summer and experienced the humiliation of a stranger masturbating over them. I don’t what’s more disgusting – the fact it happened, the fact it occurs on a daily basis or the fact this derogatory behaviour isn’t being reported or stopped. It’s a country where women feel so threatened, they can get ‘anti-rape’ manicures in an attempt to protect themselves. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had to consider ‘will this save me’ when I’m choosing between French or Shellac.
We have the power to change these women’s lives. We can change the way someone perceives the world when they wake up. To live in colour, women need education, health and justice. These things will bring safety. This is where the global campaign, Chime for Change comes in: http://www.chimeforchange.org/
To join the movement and help Chime for Change, start by hashtagging a photo of yourself in black and white with #bringcolourback. Join the movement. Raise awareness. One small photo can make a big difference if millions start spreading the message as fast as funny memes and retweets.
Make next Monday count – it’s time to #bringcolourback.