This "Solidarity Share" was presented as part of a Keynote Plenary at the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference. Solidarity Shares were created by pairs of Delegates from different communities across the globe, finding shared points of struggle, joy, and connection. We hope their stories inspire you to connect across borders, to see the ways that struggles in your community might benefit from solidarity with others.
Ghewa Srour and Khayriyyah Muhammad Smith
Lebanon and Michigan, USA
My name is Ghewa Srour, and I am from Lebanon. In my community, setting a law that protects women from being abused is a challenge! Since we (Lebanese Women) have started asking for our rights, the percentage of abuse has increased in a very surprising way! I'll tell you about "Aba'ad" a Lebanese organization that offers shelters for abused women when they need a rescue. "Aba'ad" has 3 shelters with 25 beds each, unfortunately all are full during the year! We believe that the only way to protect women at the moment is to educate them and teach them how to deal with their abusers in a smart way, until the law is set!
My name is Khayriyyah Muhammad Smith and I am from Michigan. In my community women’s rights are a challenge but more specifically women’s rights when it comes to abuse. In 2013 there were 54,000 domestic abuse incidents reported to the police. However, there are many more cases, which are not reported out of fear, that the abuse might get worse. There are various types of abuse reported like physical, emotional and even economic abuse. I believe that in order to combat domestic abuse in my community, we need to work together to build girls and women up through education and mentoring to help them to become strong, independent members of society.
In the end, our message for you is that no matter how developed the country is, violence against women is found everywhere. Women must speak aloud and ask for our rights!
Our struggle is your struggle.