In one of my college classes, the students got into a big debate about women’s rights. The main debaters were a male student from India (that’s right, a guy fighting for the rights of women) and an American female. The guy argued that women in the USA have many more freedoms and opportunities compared to women in India or any other developing country. In contrast, the girl argued that it’s not about freedom and that women in the USA still have a lot to work on.
I’m telling you, it took the professor and the advisor of the class to interfere so the battle would end and we could move on with the class.
I wanted to shout out “WE ARE ONE WOMAN!”
“We are One Woman,
You cry and I hear you.
We are One Woman,
You hurt, and I hurt, too.
We are One Woman,
Your hopes are mine.
We shall shine.”
I’m one of the “developing countries’ women” the guy mentioned. I’m from Egypt. However, I have to admit, I totally agree with the American female. Not because both of us share the same biology but because I have experienced and witnessed the lack of freedom and opportunities myself.
During the debate that day, I heard a person sniffling behind me. For safety reasons as a woman, I am cautiously aware of my surroundings. I glanced back to look. I saw a woman lifting her sunglasses up to wipe her eyes carefully. Her face was pointed down to the ground so no one could see the big purple bruise around her left eye.
A sense immediately flowed over me as I recalled how I was beaten by my partner in my first relationship. I remember, I cried that day as hard as this lady was, not because of my body and bruises but because of my wounded pride. I saw in this woman the truth, Egyptian or American, it doesn’t matter… We are one woman.
According to the World Health Organization one in three women throughout the world have experiences either physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
“One Woman” is a song launched on International Women’s Day in 2013 by the UN Women. You can listen to it in either Arabic or English.
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