Wednesday 23 November 2011

How long must we wait for liberty?

The death of freedom of speech is coming to South Africa and very soon. Yesterday has been called "Black Tuesday" with the parliamentarians getting together to sign for a unanimous secrecy bill to be passed, I wonder now if people will wake up and realize that democracy is no longer an option. I dont believe democracy is ever an option, no matter where you live. Once the media is imprisoned to report only what "THEY" say is reportable - corruption, crime and iniquity can rise and rise again until another flood overtakes the earth. Hopefully there's an ark nearby!

On a similar but somewhat different note, my thoughts drift over to the death of Inez Milholland. She is considered a martyr of the suffragette movement, Inez worked hard with Alice Paul and campaigned across the states for liberty for women. It is said that her final words before she died were "Mister President, how long must women wait for liberty?" I am asking the same question. We have 16 days to march and scream about abuse but someone said to me - why dont we march and scream against abuse EVERYDAY? Well, why dont we?

South Africa has been voted the Number 1 most violent country in the world, 4 women are killed daily in South Africa by an intimate partner, 1 in 3 people in this country are infected with HIV and every half a second a women is raped. Every 3 minutes someone is hijacked and still when we report about crime, we cannot even find domestic violent reports or reliable statistics. And now we care preparing for the "THEY" to control what information we see and hear. Pulling the wool over sheep's eyes do not make them blind, it only makes them angry. I am asking the question that was posed almost 100 years ago to a different president in a different country about a difference yet similar topic - "Mister President, how long must women wait for liberty?" From abuse? Will someone be answerable?????

Ribbons and Stars

Friday will mark the beginning of the international campaign known as the "16 days of activism against women abuse" While I have been meditating upon what this means and how can we change things around us, I have been therapeutically cutting, pinning and creating white ribbons for our women abuse campaign kicking off next week. Yeshua laid it upon my heart some weeks ago to "take it to the streets" - to go out into the public and do something about what is happening in terms of abuse. 

The mandate of this campaign is to inform - handing out flyers, helping others through free counseling and offering numbers of places that can help. Along with this however, is the very important task of showing people the need to wear the white ribbon. The white ribbon is a sign of support and the sign of someone saying "I am SAYING NO! to women abuse!" I am saying NO! 

People often tell us that we cannot change things - I don't believe it - we can, small steps turn into big steps, which turn into a slow jog, which emulates into a run, which eventually becomes a sprint and then cross country! Until when you look again, you have covered the entire world and you started off with a small step.

I have been pinning ribbons for a few days now each ribbon that I look at, I see a life. I see someone, a life to be touched, a life still to be lived. Abuse victims do not live, they survive; each moment of their lives are scanned sensing for danger or safety and then the interpretation - how to act. The white ribbon represents the colour of purity, of newness of rebirth - the life yet to be lived, still to be had. Each ribbon represents the hope, the hope that a victim can be made free. Each ribbon is a life, each life is a gift.

Along with the lives that I see, I also see stars. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns sewed stars onto the suffragette flag each time a new state agreed to allow women to vote. A star for a state, a star representing liberation and equality, a star for freedom. Each ribbon I see, I see the same stars. Alice Paul envisioned not only a country but a world where equality for all sexes would be an inalienable right and I hope for the same.
May these 16 days of activism not pass us by...rather allow yourself to reach out, embrace it; take it by the hand and find help for yourself or for another - we can, God can - we just need to reach out!