One billion rising

One billion rising
13 February 2013

Up until a recent few years ago, I didn't think much of gender, or gender issues. My firm belief is that we are all equal, and I was far too busy burrowing down my self-made hole of work. But then I was asked, yet again, to take part in a programme about women – to mark International Women's Day. And that got me thinking; sure I'm all about being gender-unbiased, but the truth is that the world isn't. Some are more equal than others.

I came to realise how immensely lucky I am: a female, independent, able to earn my own keep, with all of life's options and opportunities ahead of me. The basic, obvious fact of the matter is that the vast majority of women don't have my luck, my options. And so, I took part in that programme. I must admit, I felt a bit of a fraud though, because alongside me was someone who was passing through from Afghanistan where she was working with local communities and enabling women to find their voice and their life-path. We're talking very basic stuff here; she was teaching them skills that would allow them to earn. The rest, I am sure, will follow.

I don't know if I've ever been subjected to sexual discrimination, I've been far too busy to notice. But yes, I have seen women close to me subjected to violence and bullying. It's taboo isn't it, to talk about these things, unless it's so bad that it's hard not to 'see' what's going on. After all, we're all educated, 'good' people, aren't we? This sort of thing simply doesn't happen – surely not - not where we live or amongst the people we mix with. But it does.

One billion women – that's one in three women the world over - will be beaten or raped at some point in their lifetimes. These are shocking statistics. It means that behind the closed doors of your neighbourhood, women are being subjected to violence. Think of the people you come across in the course of daily life, this is happening to some – many? - of them. And it won't change unless and until we all say enough is enough, and demand and end to the horror.

We owe it to each other; men, women and children. But especially in light of what happened to Malala, the 14 year old Afghani school girl who was shot in the head because she dared speak up for herself and others like her, who simply want their basic right to an education. We are all Malala. And we are all the Indian rape victim who died of horrific injuries sustained during a brutal attack a few weeks ago, and let us not forget the 17 year old who was buried just a few days ago in South Africa, murdered by rape is what I call it; her perpetrators cut her open from her genitals to her stomach. She lived long enough to identify one of them. And of course there is Egypt; millions of Egyptian women have long braved all sorts of abuse simply for going about their daily business, and for those who demonstrate, a lot worse can, and does, happen to them. 

And so, when I came across One Billion Rising I decided to take part. I refuse to ignore the violence women the world over are subjected to. It is time to say enough is enough. Please join me, and many others around the world, as we act upon our convictions and gyrate our hips to the rhythm of a better life for all.

This video says it all. Break the chain. I know there's a better world out there. 

Join me at kite beach- volleyball beach in Jumeirah on Thursday the 14th of February from 5pm. If you can't be with us, why not create your own event!


  • nehad6ismail

    Violence against women is very wide spread in Middle Eastern and Islamic countries. In the less educated societies, men tend to use violence as a matter of routine to coerce their wives and excerise control over them. The worst aspects of this violence is rape which is common in places like India and Egypt. Ironically in Egypt the Fatwa merchants encourage the rape of women who dare to take part in the protests in Tahrir Square. Less than a minute ago

  • nima

    if you click on the hyperlink in the article - under Egypt - you will see that yes, you are right, it is remarkable that the women who dare to demostrate - ie express their opinion and want a better life - are a 'no red line' to quote one religeous leader - ie that attacking them is "ok". 

  • nehad6ismail

    Yes Nima, I have read the article. Just for your information I have written about this subject in Elaph recently in Arabic. This is the link:

    The pictures above the article are for people whose articles are appearing today. Mine doesn't show because the article is a few days old.


  • nima

    Read your article Nehad - thank you for sharing. Morality no longer has any place in all this it would appear. 

If you are registered you need to log in to comment, if not, please sign up.

Founder and chief executive
Facebook Feed
Related articles