Intersectional and beyond nation states, all day everyday
A common feature of girls’ activism is their quest to make the world better, not just their own lives or that of their immediate communities.
The quest for gender justice therefore lives both comfortably and logically alongside many other social justice struggles, both as a result of, but also despite, a proliferation of online spaces for organising and solidarity-building. In short, girls’ struggles are rarely single issue struggles.
I believe I’m a person who was fighting for her right as woman, fighting for her right as a girl, as a Palestinian, and I’m trying to include all of that in my resistance, in my activism…I believe that I’m fighting a lot of social problems. Patriarchy, inequality, gender inequality, I believe that I’m a feminist. And also, I believe that I’m against occupation, I’m against settlements, I’m against anything that has to do with injustice. Anything that has to do with inequality – any type of race, any type of sex, any type of anything around the world. I believe that everyone should be equal, everyone should have – we need to live in justice, peace, equality and love…That’s what I am fighting for. I’m fighting for my freedom as a girl and for my freedom as a Palestinian
Solidarity eliminates geographical boundaries. It embodies the essence of humanity. When I stand in solidarity with women in Venezuela or Yemen I feel human, and they know that they are not alone. It gives them the strength they need.
One of the important campaigns that I led is the advocacy campaign for Norah Hussein; she was a 14–year-old and her family forced her to marry a man who raped her in front of his family then Nora killed him and he died. The court sentenced her to death and then sent her to Omdurman prison. In that time I was working with the women in Omdurman prisons. They called me telling me about the case of Nora. I went there to meet her. She was a child in a prison for adult women and she was sentenced to death. I tried to help to find a lawyer and then I made her case “issue in international public opinion”. The international solidarity helped me a lot in Nora case, especially because I was threatened and I was a target of an assassination attempt.
When I talk for example about the resources in Western Sahara and why we are against for example that our resources are being exported to be used by others, I always also give an example of the Amazon, because this it’s also happening in other places in the world. When I talk about for example weapons and they are sold to be used in Western Sahara, I talk about the ones that are sold in Yemen. Who said it – Mandela – no one is free until we all are, or something like that. For me everything is related.
It feels right. It feels like this is what we should have been doing. It feels like the next step, the evolution of what our social justice ancestors were working towards. It’s like coming together and fighting for each other, even if you’re not directly impacted by an injustice. Still coming together for that piece around resistance and claiming space and obtaining rights and fighting to keep those rights. It definitely feels like the next evolutionary step.
For us, No Teen Shame was the name of the campaign we created and we’re all cis women and there are just certain things about our identities that comes from a position of privilege even, when we lived the realities that we were and are living, so it was people saying, “hey, what about disabled teen parents, what about the fact states are literally taking babies away from disabled teen parents, what does it look like to not identify as a cis woman and to have a child and be pregnant at that age and have people telling you that you are a woman?” And so that’s how we kind of evolved in our work and what it looked like. So yeah, I don’t think the answers will come from the state ever. I think it’s definitely about creating structures and introducing structures that are a way forward, a possible way forward.