Stories of Girls’ Resistance

Bravery and determination

Girls bring incredible bravery and determination to their resistance – levels that seem to be unique to age, life-stage and circumstance. 

Whether it’s facing an elder in her family or community, speaking out against a repressive regime knowing it will result in backlash, or putting her body on the line, girls are willing to take incredible risks to fight for freedom.

After the killing of all these people and witnessing all of that brutality of soldiers I started to get rid of my fear that was controlling me in my early childhood. I broke the wall of my fear, started wearing “hatta” and go out to the street in the middle of the shooting and clashes, and I remember catching the bombs thrown by soldiers, and throwing them back again.

Hafsa
Occupied Palestine

Maybe there’s a story I can tell about you. We have a mutual friend, her name is Marcel, she’s also an activist from Aleppo. She would always tell people the same story about you. Marcel is Christian and she’s a well-known Christian activist. I think she’s known as a Syrian activist, but she also talks as a Christian. She always says – Ahed is the real deal, we really need to support and uplift Ahed. When ISIS tried to put their hands on me in Aleppo, Ahed bit their hands as they were trying to touch me, and they let go and we got away.

Ahed
Syria

I’ve been beaten up by the police and the military so many times. I’ve been arrested and tortured so many times. If at that time I did not understand that submitting to that pain and refusing to fight back so that they can hurt me more, in the sense fight physically back – they have guns and batons, I have just my body, I would never have understood that that in itself is resistance.

Po
Kenya

I did three months of Krav Maga (a technique of self defence). Here boys and girls work together. After three months an examination was to be held. That day I had severe stomach cramps due to my period. When I did my one and a half hour warm-up, I started to feel severe pain extending from the stomach to the neck. I went to the side as I felt unable to cope. Then I thought that if I don’t appear today, I will not be able to help those whom I want to help. I became more determined to not only cope but come first amongst all the contestants, boys and girls. This was my motive from the beginning and my period pain could not stop me from achieving this. Despite the trainer’s concern for my state, I took part in all the fights and won them all. I came first. For the first time a girl had won in the fight against boys. The Sir was very happy and he appointed me Assistant Instructor for Krav Maga. I was the first woman instructor and the third instructor in the whole of Bangladesh. The previous instructors are [name redacted] and [name redacted]. Both are men.

Tanjina
Bangladesh

I felt I was responsible. They were injured people… They were bringing injured people to the clinic, people injured by the bombs. The Jordanian Army, the Palestinians, and Israelis were bombing each other. People were injured, some in the head, some in the legs. It was night and the bombing did not stop. Then I got worried about my daughters. I had no way of contacting them. On the following day… When the battle ended the following day…Not the same day, the battle ended on the following day, so I told the doctor that I wanted to leave and asked him to find me a way to leave. My daughters were young, and I could not… There were so many injured people. I took an ambulance with an injured person to Al-Salt Hospital. We drove him to the hospital, then they drove me to Amman. I arrived to find my eldest daughter crying and saying: “Stop, Mom, don’t go to work anymore. You left us alone, don’t go to work.” They thought I died because I came back at noon the following day. No one thought I would make it back.

Myessir
Jordan, Occupied Palestine

All my efforts are to create a safer environment for the women and girls who come after me. So many challenges I faced and girls continue to face, poverty, a closed society that impacts girls the most negatively, a government who enforces religious views that only hurt women, there are so many challenges.

Tahani
Sudan