Fighting for women and girls

February 08, 2017

I joined hundreds of Jamaicans and stepped out in my black on Monday to show empathy for survivors and solidarity with activists who are dedicated to confronting violence against women and children.

Yeah, I hear the naysayers droning on in derision, but mi nuh business!

And the black was not a symbol of mourning for me. No iyah, my black suit spoke to strength, unity and solidarity. I also hear the people who were loudly suggesting that it was a waste of time and proclaiming that it will not make any difference.

My word to them is that I'm not a fool. I know that wearing black for one day won't stop rape, murder and abuse. But I know that it sends a message to the victims and survivors that there are people around who are not afraid to stand with them. It also sends a strong message to the perpetrators that we're ready to take them on. Enough is enough, man!

Hear mi nuh, peeps. It is intolerable to be ignorant and unconscionable to be silent in the face of the current epidemic of violence against women and children in our country. The increased incidents of rape, carnal abuse, brutal violent attacks and senseless murder of women and girls that have been reported between December 2016 and now is enough to make your heart collapse and your head explode.

That's also why I'm standing with The Tambourine Army! Who dem? They're a "survivor-centred, action-based, results-based movement that is intolerant of silence and victim blaming and shaming." The group is committed to justice and healing for survivors, and changing cultural attitudes towards sexual violence.

Check them out! Information on their Facebook page says The Tambourine Army is a radical movement that was formed by eight women out of a recognition of the need to advocate differently for the rights of women and girls. The founding members have all been involved in social justice work over the years in initiatives that have brought incremental improvements but haven't significantly shifted the negative attitude towards the humanity of our women and girls.

They're all activists in their own right who work in various fields like human rights advocacy, youth development, gender, entertainment, film, photography, academia and more. They're not just talkers. They're strategising smartly and courageously taking action. So, if they ask me to don black suits and take to the streets, in a march, I'm honoured to join them in solidarity. How about you?

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