Another year has come to an end. It’s important that we come together and celebrate all that we have achieved together! I started this year with an event on International Women’s Day, called It’s A Girl. It was a documentary that highlighted the issue of gendercide in India and China. To provide the Canadian context, I had a speaker from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Beth Malcolm, Director of the Girls’ Fund. And Karen Craggs-Milne, a Senior Gender Advisor from Plan Canada to speak about violence against girls and women on a global scale. People left informed, touched and ready to take action.
In the fall, I hosted an event about human trafficking in Canada. This is a complicated topic and people are divided on the subject. My goal was to inform the audience about the realities faced by women in the sextrade industry and its connection to trafficking. We heard from national advocate and OMNI TV host, Veronica Chail who has dedicated her spare time and voice to this noble cause in partnership with [free-them]. But it was important for me to have the attendees listen to a survivor. I am beyond grateful that Bridget Perrier, co-founder of Sextrade 101 shared her story with us that evening. Again, people left informed, touched and ready to take action. I like the trend I’ve started!
We Talk Women is carving a little name for itself, one event and one blog post at a time and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supports me. Without your encouragement, presence and guidance, none of this would be possible.
I continue to be a voice for girls’ and women’s rights because the battle is far from won. But I would like to focus on the wins of 2013. The best round-up has been provided by Elizabeth Plank in this article, 28 Most Iconic Feminist Moments of 2013. An important one missing from the list is the protest against driving laws in Saudi Arabia. And what all these moments have in common is a sense of shared hope and the power of your voice. People are fed up with archaic, unjust laws and they are coming together to speak out and do something about it.
I would like to approach 2014 with that sentiment in mind. Let’s not be defeated by the unrelenting gang rape stories, regressive abortion laws, child marriage victims and the rest. Let’s instead believe in the power of our voice and use it to make change happen. I’ve come across the best example of this notion and it’s called Rebel Music. Deep in the hearts of Egypt, Mali, India, Afghanistan, Israel and Mexico, there are musicians using their art form to further human rights in their countries.
Each episode highlights a new group of fearless youth who are risking their lives today in the pursuit of a better tomorrow. Music has always had the power to unite people across borders, genders, cultures, religions and economic class. These rebels are using their music to infuse a little hope, ignite change, and bring people together to demand justice. I encourage you to watch the episodes because I know they will restore your faith in effective activism.
Whether it’s music, art, dance, or writing, use an art form to start your own revolution.
Cheers to 2014!