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Mar ch 2012

Mar ch 2012 DELTAWOMEN POWER

DELTAWOMEN

POWER

Editor’s

Note

Editor’s Note Power POWER, In all it’s forms, Somehow, Resides, Only in the hands, Of those,

Power

POWER, In all it’s forms, Somehow, Resides, Only in the hands, Of those, Who constantly, Fail,

Resides, Only in the hands, Of those, Who constantly, Fail, Learn to, Listen, love, care, About

Learn to, Listen, love, care, About who you are, The world you, Live in, And for once, Give the POWER, Back,

P

ower is the only thing that drives people forward. It has always been every human being’s main subject of mind occupation.

his issue is not a love letter to women who seek power, it’s dedicated to every woman who feel like a real, natural and complete woman as it’s the secret of Women’s Power.

T

B e a woman, Be powerful.

Elaheh Zohrevandi

Article of The Month - by Kanika Jain Sah

EMPOWERMENT - The indispensable step towards development

Sah EMPOWERMENT - The indispensable step towards development “When I can estimate my worth by what
Sah EMPOWERMENT - The indispensable step towards development “When I can estimate my worth by what

“When I can estimate my worth by what I perceive myself to be without waiting for others to endorse me,

When I don’t allow other to trample over my self-esteem,

When I don’t measure myself by what others perceive me to be,

When I am not a slave to laudatory remarks from those around me,

When I recognize myself as a complete unit in myself -

My personality luminescent and my soul self-reliant,

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That is when my soul, my being is truly empowered”

While the importance of empowerment of an individual cannot be undermined,

empowerment of women in particular, holds the key to achieving the equality

and respect that women are still yearning for in today’s modern society.

Nam inum alia adicia

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem

faccum vendaeped.

The concept of power lies at the core of empowerment. Interestingly, Weber (1946) reflects that power exists within the context of a relationship between

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Tip! P eople or things. Power does not exist in isolation nor is it inherent in

P eople or things. Power does not exist in isolation nor is it inherent in individuals. This implies that power and power relationships can change. Thus, empowerment can be viewed as this process of change and to women as a medium to change the existing societal relationships and contexts that bind them.

W hile historically women have struggled with the discrimination and oppression, today we have reached a phase in women development where reinforcement and empowerment of women is of

prime importance. It has become increasingly important for our gender to be empowered on all fronts:

spiritually, politically, socially and economically. Let us examine it as the next step forward in this long journey, wherein we are yet far from achieving the ultimate goal – gender equality.

I still remember as a little girl growing up in India, while my mother worried about my safety almost all the time, she introduced me to the concept of self-reliance very early on . The importance of education to this end was vehemently stressed upon. And it is true, a woman who is educated, is half way home to being capable of becoming financially empowered and thus developing the ability to fend for herself.

Article of The Month - by Kanika Jain Sah

EMPOWERMENT - The indispensable step towards development

F inancial dependence is, in a large number of cases, the cause women suffer and tolerate abuse from their male counterparts. Let’s just say “If you are able to earn your own bread, a

man will think twice before raising his hand on you”.

F urthermore, education gives you ideas of freedom and creates that sense of self-worth which empowers an individual socially. Education as opposed to societal customs in so many

countries, tell a woman that she is worth a lot more than what she is made out to me. She is in no way inferior to any man. When such feeling of high self-esteem lives in a woman, she can contribute a whole lot more to the society.

S he does not need to question her being; rather she needs to be politically empowered to create a positive difference in terms of changing not only the reactions of the society to-

wards women but societal discretion as a whole. Politics and women are often perceived to not go hand in hand. While men belittle their position in politics, women themselves acknowledge politics as a concept that they do not want to be associated with, since they perceive it to be the same as power.

B ut why do women associate power with negativity? Power opposed to what many women believe, enable individuals to pursue their values and aims. In fact, women with a more

communal outlook and with more concern for the common welfare of societies than men should set the standards. Women have a responsibility toward the community and should be involved in politics.

T his thought was perfectly worded by Lylin, one of our own staff: “Empowerment is recogniz- ing one’s right as an individual and the ability to help and transform the community.”

W hat women really need to do is take control of their own life. The ability of women to control their own fertility is another fundamental to women’s empowerment and equal-

ity. A woman needs to be able to plan her family which is a major factor in deciding the course

her career will take and how healthy she will be. This is due course will enable her to become a

more complete individual.

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A dditionally, there is an incessant need on this journey, to examine our beings in spiritual context. To overcome our spiritual hesitation and spiritual stagnation and to recognize and

tap into the spiritual power deep within us and assert the innate and inalienable right to live as empowered beings.

Nam inum alia adicia Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem

S o why haven’t we made more headway in this domain just as yet? A major barrier to women

empowerment and equity lie ingrained into the cultures and social norms of certain nations

faccum vendaeped.

and societies. These customs have led women to quietly accept being treated inferior to men.

Infact, empowerment is a significant procedural concern while addressing human rights and devel- opment. The

Infact, empowerment is a significant procedural concern while addressing human rights and devel- opment. The Human Development and Capabilities Approach and The Millennium Development Goals to name a few eminent efforts, acknowledge par- ticipation and empowerment as a necessary step not just in women development but necessary for the development of a nation.

go
go

Empowerment is not an end in itself, but as we see a means to many ends. So this is an important message to all you women out there –

“If you wake up one day and Look at your reflection in the mirror and see a woman, a real woman, you’re a woman.

If you have a pair of open eyes that look strong and never shake when you say something as a woman, you are a powerful woman.” – Elaheh Zohrevandi (Staff of Deltawomen)

Strength Training A Must for Women!

Strength Training A Must for Women! W hen it comes to Power, we always think of

W hen it comes to Power, we always think of The best, The strongest, and the most influential people but what about the ones who suffer from a disability?

C an they also be powerful?

M any people are born with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and sadly many other just get to have it later on in life.

A dult ADD is now a very common problem all around the world.

Adult ADHD Quiz psychcentral.com 1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the fi-

Adult ADHD Quiz

psychcentral.com

1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the fi-

nal details of a project, once the challenging parts have

been done?

2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in

order when you have to do a task that requires organi- zation?

3. How often do you have problems remembering ap-

pointments or obligations?

4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought,

how often do you avoid or delay getting started?

5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands

or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?

6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled

to do things, like you were driven by a motor?

W omen are diagnosed less but tend to suffer more from the symptoms of Adult ADD. Whatever it is, It’s all about our brain.

F irst, Let’s see if we have ADD:

Nam inum alia adicia Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem faccum vendaeped.

Strength Training A Must for Women!

N ow let’s go get the power inside:

T he body was designed to be pushed, and when we push our bodies, we push our brains, too. Learning and

memory evolved in concert with the motor functions that allowed our ancestors to track down food. As far

as our brains are concerned, if we’re not moving, there’s no real need to learn anything.

S mart Exercises to Improve ADD/ADHD Brains Do an aerobic activity regularly -- jogging, riding a bike, playing a sport that involves sprinting or running.

· Aerobic exercise elevates neurotransmitters, creates new blood vessels that pipe in growth factors, and spawns new cells in the brain.

Do a skill activity, as well -- rock climbing, yoga, karate, Pilates, gymnastics, figure skating. Complex activities

· strengthen and expand the brain’s networks. The more complex the movements, the more complex the syn- aptic connections. Bonus: These new, stronger networks are recruited to help you think and learn.

Better yet, do an activity that combines aerobic activity with a skill activity. Tennis is a good example -- it taxes

· both the cardiovascular system and the brain.

Practice a skill activity in which you are paired up with another person -- learning to tango or waltz, for ex-

· ample, or to fence. You’re learning a new movement and also having to adjust to your partner’s movements, putting further demands on your attention and judgment. This exponentially increases the complexity of the

Nam inum alia adicia

activity, which beefs up the brain’s infrastructure. Add in the fun and social aspect of the activity, and you’re

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem

faccum vendaeped.

activating the brain and the muscles throughout the system.

Duality April Avalon The pleasure to speak is my lost privilege, And now insanity dwells

Duality

April Avalon

The pleasure to speak is my lost privilege, And now insanity dwells on a page, However, it’s changing the color in days, Revealing the truth my white pencil portrays.

But I’m getting sick of the poetess’ fate,

I only enliven the worlds your create,

Denying the myths you don’t want to believe, Or perpetuate every side of my grief.

Today it’s triangular, soon to be square, Or even linear, in case you are there, You skillfully play with my changeable mood, I’d steal such a talent from you if I could.

I paint the reality, live in a dream,

Duality kills me, I just want to scream, I’ll find the salvation when holding you close I’ll speak of my feelings and keep them in prose.

Art Shop Kirthi Jayakumar
Art Shop Kirthi Jayakumar
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Shop
Kirthi Jayakumar
Art Shop Kirthi Jayakumar
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Shop
Kirthi Jayakumar
Art Shop Kirthi Jayakumar

Story Contest Winner

The Leftovers

Tracy Hauser

I accidentally got a book mailed to my old inner city school that they renovated and re-staffed, but I didn’t call to see if it was there or if anyone had picked it up. That school was on the eastside where no one could find it, off Eastern Avenue and towards Essex. It was around the corner from the Eastpoint Mall where they had haunted houses every year and a new hibachi to-go grill restaurant. It was two miles south of North Point Boulevard where if you got in a car wreck you’d be there for hours. It was practically right on the city and county line and the cops from each district wouldn’t know who’s territory was who’s. From across the hall sat “Diane” who helped all of us. She used to play with a desk Zen garden that had sand, stones, and a rake. “Michael” would leave his lunches in this room for days and days after he ate them. Like this one time when he made cold salmon and brought it in a mosaic glass platter and seven days later he remembered to take it back home. “Corey” used to come up to our third floor break room to purposely leave her frozen quesadillas in our freezer so she could warm them up, talk to “Diane” , play with Diane’s Zen rake, and complain. “Andrea”, the new teacher who’d previously taught ninth grade was up on our floor this year hanging up curtains width-wise with her ITunes turned to a Latino radio station. “Ms. Burke” in the room next to mine hung up charts with her students names on them and wrote “for homework”, “for classwork”, “for tests/quizzes”. “Mr. Rob- ert’s” room was just like mine. We had piles of ungraded work near the windowsills and when it would rain on the weekends we would come back to find the left sides of the stacks soaked and the kids wondering why their Algebra homework was wet. We got new computers up from the ones that were built in 1995, in 2010 and we stored them at the end of

the year in “Mr. Allot’s” computer classroom’s closets. We could get on YouTube, access the web from United Streaming, and use them on some of the teachers’ whiteboards. “Michael” even had an LCD pro- jector that he captured and kept in his room for the entire year that he used for PowerPoint warm-ups at the beginning of classes. There was no heat but I borrowed space heaters one year and I shot out half of my room’s elec- trical sockets when I tried to add a micro fridge next to my computer table. I managed to get a micro- wave in there that I hid from the kids between a sliding cabinet door and a red table cloth napkin. All the teachers would come in and secretly use it on their lunch breaks and planning periods. They’d strike up stuff to talk about if they hadn’t used up all their energy trying to get the kids to be quiet, or from chasing down Darius in the hallway so he that he wouldn’t be seen by the second floor administrator. None of us really expected anyone to leave, we’d each always separately talked about getting other jobs but we’d never really held each other to it. So when our school administrator told us that we were all bound to have to leave our jobs and apply for new ones we weren’t really shocked, just dismayed. We’d stood in lines behind each other, with each other, opposite each other, for the same English or Math or Social Studies job. We had to sign up for the voluntary transfer fair at a local high school and when we came there was no air conditioning on so if you had long hair or had it down to your shoulder, it stuck to the backs of your neck. There was bottled water but most of it had been taken by the teachers with nice prospects who’d had good interviews. Some of us threw out everything when we left and some of us kept stuff in the thin plastic bags that the Spanish speaking custodial workers tore off on a roll and gave to us. “Diane” had a flea market in her room. She left new notebooks, highlighters, pens, and paper clips that she had never used out for any of us to grab. Some of the other teachers did the same things too. We had a barbeque after school was over at one of our teacher’s houses where some came who made the cut and where some came who got jobs at other places. “Michael” got a job teaching elementary school and I got a job teaching middle school. Our academy principal “Josey” got a job as a librarian and we all came to find out that she was going for her library science degree. We were kinda shocked. Some of us had bought houses because we thought this job would be a long term gig, so some of us were struggling. We still keep in touch on Facebook but I guess we can all say that none of us has or acts like we’ve really moved on.

Don’t Mess With Us

Kirthi Jayakumar

Don’t Mess With Us Kirthi Jayakumar W hen an image of a girl being beaten up

W hen an image of a girl being beaten up and stripped by soldiers on a street did the rounds on the internet, it was no

surprise that it went viral. Activists world over were flabbergasted at the sheer callousness of the soldiers for putting the girl through that, people were outraged at the display of flippancy in the soldiers’ treatment of the girl. The biggest display of antagonism came from thousands of women in Egypt, demanding the end of military rule in the country.

A nd what a movement it was!

O n the evening of December 21, 2011, thousands of women walked the streets of Cairo, shouting out their anger at the

flagrant disrespect of women and denouncing the brazen inde- cency in the soldiers’ behaviour exhibited in the beating, stripping and kicking of female demonstrators at Tahrir square. Drag me, Strip me, My Brother’s Blood will cover me, they shouted aloud. Demanding to see the top military officer in the country, Moham- med Hussein Tantawi, the women shouted out, Where is the Field Marshall? The girls of Egypt are here!

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N ot since 1919, has Egypt witnessed such a large scale demon- stration by its women. About 82 years ago, a march against

British colonialism was the only other instance of a massive display

of women’s activism in Egypt. The burst of outrage is particularly commendable as being a rarity in the Arab world. Egypt has been

Nam inum alia adicia

Nam inum alia adicia

strictly rooted in patriarchy, in its culture and social setting, to

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem

the extent that several attempts through this year in the hope of

faccum vendaeped.

faccum vendaeped.

bringing in women’s protest events into fruition actually fizzled out before materializing, and the only one that did, actually wound up ending in physical harassment of the women protesters by a bigger group of men.

Women Power In Egypt, women were jostled out of politics almost entire- ly. Even when

Women

Power

In Egypt, women were jostled out of politics almost entire- ly. Even when the winds of change blew over the country, swinging it into action in overthrowing its dictator, wom- en who were at the helm of affairs during the initial rounds of the revolt were few and far between. Revolutionary co- alitions that sprang up in the aftermath of the despot’s ouster did not have room for many women in prominent roles. The demonstrations against military rule that have come up in the wake of the military authority’s obduracy in the wake of a full-blown affinity for power have hap- pened to descend into chaos as fights erupt between the youngsters and the police, as rocks fly full arcs between both factions.

The military rule in Egypt has been the denounced by most displeased observers. Human Rights groups denounced them for their ridiculous invasive virginity tests on women who were detained after a protest in March this year. How- ever, despite the gross violation of their rights through these disgusting measures, only few women spoke out against the humiliation. This is evidently because of the hotbed of conservatism that Egypt is.

The demonstration by the Feminine Face of Egypt isn’t just

a representation in an open challenge to the militia after

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their hero, an anonymous female protester was stripped and beaten, and another who attempted to rescue her was brutally beaten and now remains in a coma. It is a strong

message that they send to the militia, that the protesters

Nam inum alia adicia

wanted more than anything, to dent the military council’s

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem

faccum vendaeped.

efforts to project the protesting masses as mere hooligans and arsonists.

POWER TO BELIEVE

Power

T he women de- manded a place, a

voice, a reserved right in politics in Egypt. This demand hits the recent election victo- ries of the conserva- tive Islamist factions squarely in the face.

The march brought out such a massive range of women out to the streets- house- wives who came out into the demonstrat- ing arena for the first time; mothers with newly born children, young university stu- dents. Most women had the traditional Muslim headscarf in place, some had veils covering their faces entirely. The assem- blage was replete with chants demand- ing empowerment and “gallantry” from their male counter- parts.

T he conflagration of outrage burst

out in response to the shameless indecency on part of the soldiers in Egypt. Video after

video streamed a similar scene set in different parts with different officers- demonstrating and protesting women were grabbed, beaten and stripped. The most prominent and haunting picture (and video, of course) of the entire array was the one where a woman lay supine with a pair of soldiers grabbing her arms upwards, and one of them ripping off her veil, revealing a blue bra. The video goes on to show one of the soldiers kicking the woman in her chest. The incident was explained in

g ory detail at a press conference,

when the girl’s friend called Hassan Sha- hen, narrated that he had told the soldiers

that he was a jour- nalist, and she was

a girl, and he would

take her away from there. But the soldiers wouldn’t listen, and one of them began beating him with a baton. For her part, the poor girl has remained obscure so far as her identity

is concerned, and is

known only as the blue bra girl.

O n the one hand, there are people

like you, me and Kath- erine who denounce this cheap behaviour. On the other hand, there have been a bunch of ridiculously parochial thinkers

w ho have actually questioned the

girl’s presence at Tah- rir, going on to sug- gest that she should have been kept home

in the first place, and some others who had

the gall to remark

that she would have wanted the “expo- sure” because she wore “fancy lingerie”, and still others who believed that she should have worn something under her veil.

A s if.

she wore “fancy lingerie”, and still others who believed that she should have worn something under

O n 19th December, 2011, General Adel Emara, one of the members of the military council in rule, acknowl- edged the incident, but laid claim that the incident was blown out of proportion and studied without

regard to broader circumstances that would explain what happened. Almost immediately, a stunning repartee stung back from a female journalist who demanded an apology, warning that a woman’s revolution wouldn’t be too far a prospect. The General brushed her remark aside like one would, a stray thread on their jacket.

T his is a terribly surprising and callous mentality on part of the military council, and reflects a filthy set of double standards. When about a month ago, Aliaa Elmahdy and her friend Karim Amer posted naked

pictures of themselves in an attempt to use their bodies as a sign of protest, all hell broke loose and the two girls were chastised verbally, by orthodox clerics denouncing them as violators of morality and inciters of indecency. Some wanted to punish the two girls based on their Constitution which is based on Islamic Law and Islamic Sanctions. And yet, it is the people from the very same brand of mentality that have beaten and stripped women.

I n my research, I came across this website. It explained to me that the Quran says, “Women have the same rights in relation to their husbands as are expected in all decency from them, while men stand a step above

them.” Sura 2:228. This only specifies the degree of responsibility, not privilege, in man’s role as provider, protector, maintainer, and leader of the family. Further down in the same article, the website explains, During the rein of Umar, women participated in law making. Umar made a proposal of a certain regulation concerning marriage. A woman in the mosque stood up and said, “Umar, you can’t do that.” Umar did not tell her, “Shut up, you are a woman, you have nothing to do with politics, etc.” He asked, “Why?” She made her argument on the basis of Quran. In front of everybody, he stood up and said, “The woman is right and Umar is wrong,” and he withdrew his proposal. That was the spirit in the early days of Islam. In the most authentic collection of hadith, Hadith Bukhari, a section is devoted to the participation of women, not only in public affairs, but in the battle- field, too, and not only as logistical support. Women carried arms, and when there was great danger to the Muslims, they volunteered to participate even in the battlefield.

A nother website explains, According to it (The Quran), both man and woman have been created for the

sake of each other. The Qur’an says: They (women) are raiment (comfort, embellishment and protection)

for you, and you (men) are raiment for them. (Surah al-Baqarah: 2 : 187).

W hat Islamic Law allows for this? What Islamic Law says women should be disrespected? What

Islamic Law allows men to shamelessly beat, strip and kick women? Why are there double standards in the understanding of “morality”? When one hand drums

a beat saying that women should abide by a certain

“morality”, how can the other hand drum up a differ-

ent drum and say that it is okay for a soldier to strip

a woman? Until this warped understanding of Islam

ideology changes, it is painfully true that women will always be under the thumb of male domination.

T rue power is sincere, it knows responsibility. All power corrupts. But absolute power? It corrupts Absolutely.

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it knows responsibility. All power corrupts. But absolute power? It corrupts Absolutely. Art Shop Kirthi Jayakumar

The Power Within

Paola Brigneti

Margaret Mead once said: “Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.” I wonder if Ms. Mead were alive today, if she would change her words to include not only men, but also entire communities. Ms. Mead obviously saw women’s potential to make a change in those around them. She identified women’s ability to positively affect the world. This capacity, this special power, is unique to women, and especially adolescent girls.

Every adolescent girl on our planet has the power within herself to change the world. In fact, some argue that if you want to change the world, you should invest in an adolescent girl. When girls reach adolescence, they reach a point in their lives when decisions about their futures are made. Unfortunately, many factors such as early marriage, early pregnancy, forced labor, or plain gender discrimination, get in the way of adolescent girls’ potential for achievement, and for changing the world.

The existing research on the potential of girls is limited. This is not due to lack of evidence, however, but simply a reflection of how much importance and value our society has placed on adolescent girls. The existing evidence, nonetheless, suggests that when adolescent girls are not forced into early marriages, but instead allowed to stay in school, to remain healthy, and to gain real skills, they will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and they will earn an income that they will very likely invest back into their families and communities. It is truly amazing to think about the power girls have to make such a huge impact on their communities. At the macroeconomic level, educating a girl and arming her with skills results in a more competitive labor force. If those in charge of running our world were fully aware of the potential of girls for improving a country’s economy, they would probably be investing more money in their girls. However, if they keep ignoring girls, over half of the country’s potential will be wasted, and the country will continue to fall behind.

keep ignoring girls, over half of the country’s potential will be wasted, and the country will

The Power Within

Paola Brigneti

The evidence available regarding the impact of enabling girls to succeed shows that a country’s per capita gross national product rises when girls complete secondary school. When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. An extra year of primary education increases a girl’s eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary education increases her future wages by 15 to 25 percent. The most valuable finding showing girls’ power to make a change is that when they earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families and their communities. Men, in com- parison, only reinvest between 30 to 40 percent.

However, if a girl is forced to follow the path of poverty, she will probably have to leave school, get married and have children. All around the world, this happens to many girls at a very young age. As a young, unskilled mother, she will not be able to use the power she has within herself to reach her full potential and to help those around her. As a result of this sad turn of events, her children will likely be forced into this downward spiral triggered by poverty, and by practices that oppress and disenfranchise them.

The reality is that girls have the power to shape future generations and to help end the cycle of poverty in their families and communities. The welfare of girls today shapes the prospects for future families. The physical and intellectual health of today’s girls directly affects the health and educational achievement of future generations. An educated mother is more likely to ensure that her children, boys and girls, will be educated as well. And the cycle of education, success, health and good choices will continue. This is the power of adolescent girls, the power they have within, even if they are not fully aware of it. Knowing the power girls have to change our world, we should be doing everything we can to allow girls’ light to shine in our world, and to turn it into a better place for them, for us, and for the future generations.

For So long she Had adhered into perfect Place~ An invisible shield of feminine Armor~ What lay beneath had always been Perceptible to me neath the layers of articulation- Careful consideration~ Bound tightly in oceanesque Hues of blue~ She had always kept a silent tremor Off-limits to entry~ Pleading me to physically Force it from her~ To exorcise the Extraction of her pain For the sake of

One more Day Of Composure~ Broken moments of release in disguise~ A constructive camouflage For her liberation~ She had become immobilized by her restraints~ Meticulously mummified~ The repressed tension of Every emotional injury~ Breaking was a Necessity back then…But it was Never really about The exercise~

Both of Us Wrestling such Similar demons~ We were the Perfect balance of force and reason~ Fire And ice~ A strong tonic cocktail of sweat and Profanity~ Endorphin provoked junkies fisting Our self-imposed archetypes~ It was never about The control…It was about the euphoric moments Of losing it~ The crash and crawl into blissful Depletion~ Clawing through psychological Fevers~ Delineating wounds left Denied and unspoken~ Equipment And Space Were only a Backdrop for our training~ Our solidarity was a therapy of a different kind

Poems of A Woman

Solidarity

Leila A. Fortier

Power: Breaking the Culture of Silence

Lylin Aguas

Many women today, despite all the sophistication the world has to offer, continue to suffer in silence from domestic violence. They live secret lives of abuse, dysfunction, poverty, sickness or depres- sion. They are being beaten by a partner or a family member, an unfortunate reality that violence exists even at home. This makes it doubly hard to contain and address the problem because it is viewed as a “private matter.”

There are two major factors why domestic violence in the home is tolerated: (1) ABSENCE OR LACK OF EMPOWERMENT; and (2) CULTURE.

ABSENCE OR LACK OF EMPOWERMENT

Most women who silently accept domestic violence have total dependence on partners or family members who abuse them. For how can a woman speak out if everything she needs is provided for by her husband or family? Her dependence on others for her and her children to survive prevents her from standing up for her right or what she believes in. The moment she argues, her means of support is withdrawn and she and her children can be left empty-handed.

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Being deprived of an education further weakens women’s chances of empowering themselves to become independent. It lessens their capability to explore opportunities for themselves. They’re

left with their own simple devices borne from life’s experiences of

how to best take care of themselves and their children.

Nam inum alia adicia

Nam inum alia adicia

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem faccum vendaeped.

Am ipsapid mi, eici Tem faccum vendaeped.

It is therefore critical that women obtain an education to empower themselves and have the financial means to be independent. They will have a better chance of defending themselves without fear of being left out in the cold when doing so.

Leading

Article

CULTURE

Though the times show a marked improvement on the statistics of educated women and women in the working force, one cannot simply say that they cannot be victims of violence within the home. In Nigeria, more than half of all women say they are abused by their husbands. A 2010 study conducted in the Lagos and Oyo states revealed that nearly “65 percent of educated women said they had been beaten by a partner, boy- friend or husband, while 56 percent of lower-income market women experienced similar violence.”

It is evident that socioeconomic status cannot always prevent domestic violence in the home. There is a “culture of silence” that exists and demands “obedience” from women. This can be traced back to years of patriarchal dominance that women should observe obedience to their male partners.

Society’s pressure for women to keep the marriage and family “intact” despite being battered and beaten further aggravates the violent situation in the home. Society “nor- malizes” acts of violence in the home and gives false hopes that it will end. The pressure makes it hard to walk away from the comfort of one’s home. But can one call it a home when memories are drenched with vivid pictures of beatings and violence?

BREAKING THE SILENCE

Going outside the norm and breaking the culture of silence can seem a formidable step for women who live in a society where marriage gives the man the “license” to dominate women to the point of battering them. But such violence should never be tolerated.

It is imperative that assistance for the victims be made available to immediately arrest a worsening situation. Knowing women have a haven to run to for protection makes a big difference. It can give them the courage to stand up for their right.

Women deprived of an education since childhood should be offered livelihood pro- grams that can give them opportunities to earn their own living and be financially independent. They definitely should have a say in the decision- making when it affects their lives and homes.

Through the years, more women have made their presence felt. Many have been involved in improving women’s lives and have given positive contributions economi- cally, politically and socially. Some have become world leaders and earned their place in society.

Women cannot simply be ignored. And it is certainly time to break the culture of silence.

POWER OF FUTURE

POWER OF FUTURE

POWER OF FEAR

Editor: Elaheh Zohrevandi

Production Coordinator: Elsie Reed

Designer: Elaheh Zohrevandi

Proofing: Kirthi Gita Jayakumar, Aanchal Kumar

Photographer: Effat Allahyari

Information is correct at press time.

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