YWCA Person's Day Keynote 'Brave New Girls'
"Gender-based violence kills one in three women across the world and is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide, causing more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war.
Women perform 66% of the world’s work, but receive only 11% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s land.
And when we complicate those statistics with race, sexual orientation, ability, class, gender (more specifically trans and intersex) we see that cash-poor, of colour, First Nations, queer, trans and disabled womyn and girls are affected disproportionately.
We all have responsibilities to consider how to make this world one that we all want to live in, are all entitled to live in with an abundance of respect, safety, and love. Depending on our social location, each of our responsibilities are different.
Each of you is already a unique and valuable person when you are born, every single one of us is. We vary from minute distinctions to enormous diversity from an incalculable mixing of environment and history that has never happened before and will never happen again. And whether you believe that we are children of a creator or made of the bellies of stars or something somewhere in the middle, either way each one of us is divine and a little piece of the heavens.
Octavia Butler says"Everything you touch you change, everything you change changes you." - truth of the matter is that we are sensitive creatures, all of us, we are affected deeply by everything around us from the overrepresentation of some of us in the media and the underrepresentation of others, we are affected by the ways we punch our boys and kiss our daughters, the fast food joints on every other corner in the hood and the organic markets that appear some time later in those same neighborhoods as they are gentrifying.
We are different, but this is not what separates us, it is the way that we declare differences a disadvantage on an institutional level. We assume that there is standard that we should all be adhering to, a standard of ability, of productivity, of education or of development. Even worseso we assume that one small group of people can make that standard. What I want to share with you today is that we cannot impose our standards on each other. We need to create the conditions for self-determination for individuals and communities, for interdependence not dominance, for systemic change and not charity. These are the ways that we will change the world, rooted in a deep desire to learn of each other from each other, through collaboration, justice and love."
Click on the image for the link to the presentation.