The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021, #ChooseToChallenge, asks you to hold your hand up and show your solidarity to help forge a more inclusive world. At Savera UK, we choose to challenge harmful attitudes, prejudice and practices that violate individual human rights. We will continue to support those at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices as well as campaign to eliminate them for future generations.
To join the wider campaign, we asked our team and supporters what they choose to challenge Savera UK Celebrity Ambassador, Sunetra Sarker stated: “I Choose to Challenge the harmful cultural practices that affect women and girls around the world, such as FGM, ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage. I do this by speaking out with Savera UK. When we unite our voices and bring subjects to the forefront, we can make a difference.”
Savera UK Founder and CEO, Afrah Qassim said: “I Choose to Challenge and speak out to tackle ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices and be a voice for those who yet not able to speak out themselves.
“I am choosing to promote and reach the young women where I started my young life and across the globe to let them know that they do have a choice, they do have a voice, they do have a way out and to never be afraid of speaking out.”
One of the newest Savera UK Youth Advisory Board members, Gayatri said that as part of the Board: “I Choose to Challenge the inequality that is present in many aspects of our society, and I commit to contributing my part to creating a more inclusive world.”
When most people think of the word “activism”, it conjures images of street marches and large protests with placards. Although these are valuable ways of making a statement, everyday activism is just as effective in challenging an unequal world.
There are many ways that you can #ChooseToChallenge this International Women’s Day and every day to contribute and show your solidarity.
Commit to learning and understanding gender-based abuse
Knowledge is the key to the prevention of harmful practices. By understanding why they happen you can join the fight to help eliminate them.
Find out more from Savera UK resources here.
Recognise the abuse and call it out
There are many signs of ‘honour’-based abuse and other harmful practices. If you’re not aware of them then they can be missed and lives can be lost.
Awareness empowers us to speak out, so please familiarise yourself with the signs of ‘honour’-based abuse so you can identify people who might be at risk.
Find out how to recognise the abuse here.
Tell a friend
If you feel strongly about an issue, then share it with someone and tell them why it is important to you. If enough of us stand up for what we believe in, it could make a world of difference.
Join our #ImSpeakingOut campaign here.
Many grassroots organisations, like Savera UK, are on the front-line providing one-to-one support to those at risk or experiencing gender-based abuse. They are also fighting to eliminate these traditional practices for good. You can help keep charities like Savera UK to continue this vital work by donating. For as little as £5, you could help to provide a new beginning, free from the risk of harmful practices.
Click here to donate to Savera UK.
Lasting change comes from the many and not the few. Collectively, we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
Written by Shauna Lacy