I will rise.


I am one in a billion. But I will rise, nevertheless.

I will rise for every woman, named or unnamed. I will rise for every girl, African or European, Asian, American or Australian. I will rise for every girl, every woman, who has faced crime: reported or unreported. I will rise for every girl, every woman, who has survived a difficult life. I will rise for every girl, every woman, who survives every day. I will rise for every man and every boy who supports women. I will rise for you. I will rise for me. I will rise for us. 



I will rise for Aruna Shanbaug. I will rise for Kunan Poshpora. I will rise for Rehtaeh Parsons. I will rise for the 23-year-old girl in Delhi. I will rise for the 13-year-old in West Bengal. I will rise for Aarushi Talwar. I will rise for Lara Logan, just as I will rise for Bhanwari Devi. I will rise for Malala Yousufzai. I will rise for Manal al-Sharif. I will rise for the girl who was raped and murdered in South Africa. I will rise for Rihanna, I will rise for Ashley Judd, I will rise for Alice Walker, I will rise for Christina Aguilera. I will rise for the children of Nithari. I will rise for the Blue-Bra girl in Egypt. I will rise for every girl that has gone to hell and back, suffering sexual violence. I will rise for every nameless, faceless girl and every woman, who for the media and the government have been a statistic in proof of sexual violence. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.

I will rise for the women that are beaten in the secret confines of their homes. I will rise for the little girls that are sexually abused at the hands of a trusted relative, or a trusted friend. I will rise for the women that suffer marital rape, as the law surpasses them because there is “no rape in anything marital”. I will rise for the myriads of women that are raped every day – literally and figuratively as men disrobe them with their lewd eyes. I will rise for every woman that is verbally abused, sexually harassed and treated below par with her male counterpart. I will rise for every woman that is not taken seriously for her talents and skills, but dissected and booed for the way she looks. I will rise for every girl who is married off before she knows what it is to be a woman. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.

I will rise for my sisters in the DR Congo, against the rape and sexual violence they face. I will rise for my sisters in Nigeria and Somalia, who face the detrimental threat of genital mutilation and sexual abuse. I will rise for my sisters in Afghanistan, for whom education is a distant dream while domestic violence keeps her subservient. I will rise for my sisters in India, who struggle to stay alive in the womb and after. I will rise for my sisters in the Middle East where the sword of honour hangs on their heads, ready to sacrifice them at the altar of familial honour. I will rise for my sisters in South East Asia where they are trafficked against their will, and made slaves to sex-trade. I will rise for the women in Libya, who were raped with governmental sanction under the dictator’s regime. I will rise for women in Egypt who had to undergo forced virginity tests to determine their “chastity”. I will rise for women in Syria, who suffer sexual violence while grappling with civil war. I will rise for my sisters in Nepal, who suffer without enough to eat, and get labelled as “witches” if they are widows. I will rise for my sisters in Sudan, where the janjaweed militia have used rape as a weapon. I will rise for my sisters in Guatemala, where gruesome murders thrived, killing plenty of women and leaving hate messages scrawled on their bodies. I will rise for my sisters in Mali, one in ten of which die in pregnancy or childbirth. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.

I will rise for Leymah Gbowee. I will rise for Tawakkol Karman. I will rise for Michelle Obama. I will rise for Hillary Clinton. I will rise for Khalida Brohi. I will rise for Afra Jalabi. I will rise for Angela Gorman. I will rise for Arundhuti Gupta. I will rise for Asher Jay. I will rise for Atiaf Alwazir. I will rise for Ayla Shlosser. I will rise for Beena Sarwar. I will rise for Binaifer Nowrojee. I will rise for Chris Crowstaff. I will rise for Deborah Ellis. I will rise for Dominique Vidale-Plaza. I will rise for Elaheh Zohrevandi. I will rise for Elsie Ijorogu-Reed. I will rise for Gulalai Ismail. I will rise for Heera Kamboj. I will rise for Helen Mack. I will rise for Hina Noureen. I will rise for Inshah Malik. I will rise for Jean Sasson. I will rise for Jessamijn Miedema. I will rise for Jin In. I will rise for Karin Soweid. I will rise for Katherine R Vasquez Tarazona. I will rise for Keren Batiyov. I will rise for Lauren Wolfe. I will rise for Lylin Aguas. I will rise for Marta Rusek. I will rise for Medea Benjamin. I will rise for Melanie Blanding. I will rise for Mila Pilz. I will rise for Natasha Latiff. I will rise for Neema Namadamu. I will rise for Nora Lester Murad. I will rise for Paola Brigneti. I will rise for Parveen Sikkandar. I will rise for Raquel Evita Saraswati. I will rise for Rebecca Cataldi. I will rise for Roya Mahboob. I will rise for Samin Malik. I will rise for Sara Potler LaHayne. I will rise for Somy Ali. I will rise for Stella Paul. I will rise for Sue Burness. I will rise for Susan Abulhawa. I will rise for Susanne Billander. I will rise for Swanee Hunt. I will rise for Tania Saleem Paijo. I will rise for Visaka Dharmadasa. I will rise for Yasmina Mrabet. I will rise for Zarghuna Kagar. I will rise for every woman who has been a changemaker, I will rise for every woman who has been the harbinger of peace.

I will rise for Deepika Mohan. I will rise for Mariam Sb. I will rise for Aarshi Tirkey. I will rise for Manasa Ram Raj. I will rise for Ashay Abbhi. I will rise for Ramya Padmanabhan. I will rise for Akanksha Badkur. I will rise for Aashima Panikar, I will rise for Aadya Mishra. I will rise for Carissa D’ Almeida. I will rise for Rouble Sorkkar. I will rise for Nandita Bhakta. I will rise for Susanna Ngwuta. I will rise for Deepti Menon. I will rise for Harini Ravi. I will rise for Katherine Conway. I will rise for Marissa Schlenker. I will rise for Megan Bird. I will rise for Pragya Lamsal. I will rise for these fighters who believed in our dream, I will rise for these crusaders who work hard to support our common cause.

And I will rise, for every man that supports women and the cause for women. I will rise for Dr. Mukwege of the Panzi Hospital, for his every initiative to help women recover from the nasty aftermath of sexual violence. I will rise for Greg Mortensen, for his every step towards educating girls in Afghanistan. I will rise for Nicholas Kristoff, for recognizing and endorsing that women DO hold up half the sky. I will rise for Barack Obama, for protecting and endorsing the rights of women over their bodies. I will rise for our 16 Real Men. I will rise for Ashay Abbhi and his meaningful poetry that inspires me to act. I will rise for Scott Blanding for his unstinting support for women's rights. I will rise for Adithya Mallya who knows what it is to set a woman free. I will rise for Daryl Morini who taught us to be fighters for women. I will rise for Aryaman Jalota for his crusade for equality as I will for Lawrence Gelber as he wages peace. I will rise for Edoardo Camilli who values women's rights like he values his own, I will rise for Shravan Kumar who has the gumption to say he loves women and say it right! I will rise for Charles Akhimien for his fortitude in being an ambassador for gender equality. I will rise for Rex Arul for being the perfect father. I will rise for William Kin who found the broken link. I will rise for Faruk Waja who embraces fem-i-nism. I will rise for Rohit John for his stellar support, I will rise for Robert Kirchner who asks what kind of a man you can be. I will rise for Amogh Chitakara who sees men and women as equal children of the universe. I will rise for Matthew Vickery in whose lifeblood lies true feminism. I will rise for every man that respects women, not just in word, but in conduct, unfailingly. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.

I will rise against rape. I will rise against sexual harassment. I will rise against domestic violence. I will rise against verbal abuse. I will rise against discrimination. I will rise against child marriage. I will rise against deprivation. I will rise against female genital mutilation. I will rise against sex-trade. I will rise against lack of healthcare. I will rise against lack of education. I will rise against patriarchy. I will rise against inhuman, derogatory behaviour. I will rise against the crassness. I will rise against the unhealthy notion that a woman is property. I will rise against rules that make demands over a woman’s dressing sense. I will rise against the distasteful portrayal of women in mainstream media. I will rise against fathers, brothers, grandfathers and uncles who abuse their daughters, sisters and granddaughters, and I will rise against the women in these families who let these happen to their girls. I will rise against the glass ceiling. I will rise against everything that reinforces the wrong notion that women aren’t significant. I will rise for each of them, each survivor.

I will Strike, Rise and Dance. For each fighter. For each survivor. For you. For me. For us. 

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