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16 Days of Activism 2020 – Day 13

Women to celebrate

During #16DaysofActivism we wanted to shine a spotlight on women who have made a difference in the #domesticabuse #feminist #VAWG sector.

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE
Jasvinder Sanghera CBE is a woman who has saved lives & changes lives. Jasvinder is well-known for surviving forced marriage, writing her memoir Shame and also Daughters of Shame and for founding the charity Karma Nirvana. Karma Nirvana is a charity working with survivors of #forcedmarriage and #honourbasedabuse.

We want to thank Jasvinder for her work as a campaigner brought about due to her own experiences.

Jasvinder shone a light on a hidden crime of #forcedmarriage alongside other “so called” #HBA crimes. And quite rightly highlights that these crimes are Human Rights violations.

Recently Jasvinder posted this “Recently heard the sad news that my only brother died. Many rejected by their families never hear news of loved ones, but I did via Facebook. I won’t be allowed to attend the funeral instead will grieve silently & stand by the choices I made with dignity.”

This reminds us that as #domesticabuse #VAWG workers we aim to empower women & girls but at the same time we reflect on the hardship of choices that have huge consequences on people’s lives; they are made in order to keep people safe. The impact of surviving can be life changing. Standing by these choices can be difficult and the journey from: victim to survivor and subsequently to thriver – is not easy. But it is possible.

With the work that #domesticabuse #stalking #honourbasedabuse #VAWG charities do – we hope that together we can make a difference.

Here is Jasvinder’s story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmDjddEJL1M

@ChangingPathways wants to thank @Jas_Sanghera_KN and honour her work, dedication and sharing her pathway with others to ensure that other women and girls can be free of shame, forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

Here is a link to Karma Nirvana’s website: https://karmanirvana.org.uk/


Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman song “Behind the Wall”

This song talks about the historic ways that the public and the police often view domestic violence.

Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won’t do no good to call
The police always come late
If they come at all

And when they arrive
They say they can’t interfere
With domestic affairs
Between a man and his wife
And as they walk out the door
The tears well up in her eyes

Last night I heard the screaming
Then a silence that chilled my soul
I prayed that I was dreaming
When I saw the ambulance in the road
And the policeman said
“I’m here to keep the peace
Will the crowd disperse
I think we all could use some sleep”

A quote from Tracy Chapman
“I think it’s important, if you are an artist, to use your music to stand up for what you believe in.” “That’s what everyone should do with their lives,” she says, “stand up for what they believe in, or try to do some good in the world. I don’t think artists have a greater responsibility than anyone else.”


Rosa Parks…
My reason for this is that even though she knew her actions would cause her difficulty, she stood for what she believed were her rights and those of others. One person might not change the world but it’s important to be the change you want to see.


Kimberlé Crenshaw
Kimberlé Crenshaw is an American lawyer, civil rights advocate, philosopher, and a leading scholar of critical race theory who developed the theory of intersectionality.


Tarana Burke
Tarana Burke is an American activist from The Bronx, New York who started the Me Too movement. In 2006, Burke began using #metoo to help other women with similar experiences to stand up for themselves.


Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, through her powerful writings, has inspired generations of women, African Americans and all people who struggle to overcome prejudice, discrimination and abuse.
Throughout her life, Angelou has defied social norms. After being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, she withdrew and was mute for five years. However, encouraged by her grandmother, who introduced her to literature, she gradually emerged as a talented artist.


Karen Ingala Smith
Karen Ingala Smith has a long history of working for charities supporting women and children victim/survivors of male violence. She blogs at kareningalasmith.com about issues including men’s violence against women and girls, feminism, class and infertility and runs the campaign Counting Dead Women recording and commemorating women killed through male violence in the UK and demanding that the government steps up action to address fatal male violence against women.


Emma Watson UN Women Goodwill Ambassador
British actor Emma Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014. The accomplished actor, humanitarian and graduate of Brown University who had already been involved in the promotion of girls’ education for several years and previously visited Bangladesh and Zambia as part of her humanitarian efforts. She has worked to promote fair trade and organic clothing and served as an ambassador for Camfed International, a movement to educate girls in rural Africa. She helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Since becoming the second woman to ascend to the US Supreme Court in 1993, she fought tirelessly to give voice to the voiceless, protecting the marginalised with her liberal-leaning rulings. Speaking up for women, minorities and the LGBTQ community.


Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris, recently became America’s first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president-elect, she represents a new face of political power. The California senator’s history-making win also represents the millions of women in the demographics — often overlooked, historically underrepresented and systematically ignored — who are now the recipients of that new power for the first time in the country’s 200-plus-year history.


Harriet Wistrich 
Harriet is the founder and director of the Centre for Women’s Justice and a solicitor of 25 years experience who worked for many years with renowned civil liberties firm, Birnberg Peirce Ltd. She is the winner of the Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year award 2014, Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year 2018 for public law and Law Society Gazette personality of the year 2019. She has acted in many high-profile cases around violence against women including on behalf of women who challenged the police and parole board in the John Worboys case, women deceived in relationships by undercover police officers and on behalf of women appealing murder convictions for killing abusive partners, most recently Sally Challen. She is also founder member of the campaign group, Justice for Women and trustee of the charity, the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize.


Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education advocate who, at the age of 17 in 2014, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Yousafzai became an advocate for girls’ education when she herself was still a child, which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her. On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Yousafzai when she was traveling home from school. She survived and has continued to speak out on the importance of education. In 2013, she gave a speech to the United Nations and published her first book, I Am Malala.


Alice Walker
Alice Walker, born to sharecropper parents, Alice Walker grew up to become a highly acclaimed novelist, essayist and poet. She is best known for her 1982 novel The Color Purple, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and soon was adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg. Walker is also known for her work as an activist.

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