Inspiration May 13, 2017
Is there a cause you believe in so much that you would do anything to fight for it? Is there something you know in your heart is the truth and you speak that truth with everything you’ve got? Have people told you to shut up because of it? Insulted you or threatened you for it? If so, you are most certainly not alone. Women all over the globe are fighting for causes in their country that they know to be true and right. But standing up for what you believe is right comes with great risk and danger. There are the women who have hushed, beaten or silenced for their beliefs.
Richards was arrested August 2015 for “felony lynching.” The astringent title is misleading. The origins of this term come from the common occurrence in segregated America where the police would arrest a black person and a lynch mob would come and take that person and either beat them, kill them or, of course, lynch them.
Now the term refers to the act of trying to “de-arrest” someone the police have already arrested. In Richard’s case, she was trying to stop the police from arresting someone who had no association with the peaceful protest she was conducting at the La Pintoresca Park in Pasadena according to her lawyer, Nana Gyamfi. She has been sentenced to 4 years in jail.
But Jasmine knows what’s right and what she is getting into. In her video about Black Lives Matter Pasadena she says, “Without any programs to help [African Americans], I felt like I should do something.”
Badawi has been arrested for running an activist Twitter account in her ex-husband’s name, Waleed Abulkhair, former head of the organization Monitor of Human Rights in Saudia Arabia. She is serving a 15 year prison sentence for the crime and going to jail with her small daughter. The Twitter account was used to plea for her ex-husband to be released and is still being used for that today.
Waleed Abulkhair is a Saudi human rights lawyer who has spoken out against the government on the subject. He has already been arrested twice and is currently detained as a political prisoner though the government refuses to admit that. Samar Badawi will join him in detainment as the government intends to silence her again.
In 2014, the Iranian government tried to criminalize voluntary sterilization. Outraged by the decision to further limit women’s reproductive choices, the artist activist took to Facebook to give her real opinion about decisions her government was making. According to The New York Times,
She drew a cartoon that depicted the legislators in support of the bill as monkeys and cows prompting a visit from the Revolutionary Guard. She was then arrested for insulting the government and disseminating propaganda. While in Prison, she has been in solitary confinement, physically abused and forced to strip naked.
She was later rearrested for “illegitimate relationship short of adultery” because she shook hands a little too vigorously with her lawyer.
These women were all, ironically, arrested on China’s National Women’s Day. It was the same day that the country’s first law on domestic violence was implemented. These women have participated in a myriad of different kinds of peaceful protesting like their “Blood Brides” project.
They walked the streets with picket signs and “bloody” wedding dresses mimicking abused wives. They have also done other peaceful demonstrations where they confront the idea that women dressed in “racy clothing” deserve to be sexually molested while on trains and subways.
These women have participated in several demonstrations against their government in the name of women’s rights.
Amira Osman Hamid truly has a fire for women’s rights in Sudan where it is still legal to publicly lash women when they have done wrong doing in the eyes of their law. According to her “These laws were made to control women, their movement, their clothes, their work.” She boldly speaks out about it even though the government responds violently to the protests she and other female activists organize.
Some of the ways they do so is to beat, rape or torture them once they are imprisoned. Hawa Jango is also a female activist in Sudan. She was taken to jail and when she got there, they had taken out all her fingernails, she lost all her hair and she was told she should die.
The struggles for female protesters are undeniably dangerous. Women all over the world are being accosted for their beliefs and for speaking out against their governments. These women, in the words of Malala Yousafzai, “Speak not for [themselves] but for those without voice… those who have fought for their rights… their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.”
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