Messages, Poems & Prayers of Solidarity with Women Human Rights Defenders, from Southern African feminists and activists
Just Associates Southern Africa (JASS SNA) & friends of JASS came together to express our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Egypt as well as women human rights defenders standing for rights across the African continent and around the world. This is a compilation of prayers, messages and poems by women, feminists, activists and defenders from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa.
Pamela Mhlanga, Feminist activist, Zimbabwe
It takes inner power and resolve to keep going when all odds are against you. Our sisters defending our universal rights everyday must always understand that even if our voices neither whisper nor resound with solidarity all the time, we are with you every step of the way.
Darkness comes before dawn.
Anna Davies-van Es, JASS Southern Africa, Feminist activist, South Africa
Solidarity means recognising that if you don’t have the right to speak; my right to speak is threatened. Last night my children and I read out your names – we spoke each syllable to insist you exist in the world and in our hearts. We thanked you for your courage and determination to ensure that all women and all people can speak and fight for freedom.
Glenda Makumbe, Feminist, Zimbabwe
We need to find strength in the noise that our life makes, the change that it creates and the hope it inspires. Dare to live out loud!
Thokozile Phiri-Nkhoma, Feminist, Malawi
Over decades ago, We Women have spent our precious time singing and dancing to the failures of our Political, Religious and Traditional Leaders, because of lack of Voice. It is high time we voiced out and rose to become champions of the successes of our Communities, Churches and Families. Women Rise Up!!
Institute for Young Women in Development (IYWD), Zimbabwe with a solidarity message for our Egyptian sisters
“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
IYWD in solidarity with our sisters across the globe say we shall continue to fight the fight against human rights violations with our heads held up high. We shall stand with our Egyptian sisters till the very end because the rights of every woman are diminished when the rights of one woman are endangered.
Maggie Mapondera, JASS Southern Africa, Feminist activist, Zimbabwe
We stand with you.
We cry with you.
We scream with you.
We dream with you.
Shereen Essof, Feminist activist, JASS Southern Africa, Zimbabwe & United States
To the 22 Women Human Rights Defenders unjustly detained in Egypt,
to our friends and sisters,
I send greetings to you from Southern Africa and a message of solidarity and love.
Our resistances are the same and they continue in the struggle to defend what is ours: the life and dignity of our families and communities, a world where many worlds fit, not for capitalism, money and greed to be imposed on us and on our lands so that we are exploited and manipulated. Our governments are failing to do their jobs and have become servants to those who have the power and money which is why there is no true freedom for women, which is why you are unjustly imprisoned.
We stand by you, our sisters. In small and big ways we will continue to defend rights. To demand what is ours. To speak truth to power. To make our voices heard. We will continue to make demands until everyone has their freedom, because our words and actions together are stronger than the barriers that are put up to stop us.
Strength and a warm embrace,