I once visited a small village in Rajasthan, India…
The village had a long-held tradition. Every time a child – a boy child – was born a bell was rung. Loud chimes would ring out announcing his arrival.
No bell sounded for any girl child.
How loudly and clearly the absence of that bell signalled the lack of value placed on girls.
Until one villager changed that. One brave, far-sighted woman who demanded the bell be rung for the birth of her daughter. Who persuaded others around her that her daughter deserved that bell. No easy feat – and there is a much longer story to be told. But she did get the bell rung.
And the bell now rings for every child that is born. And every time it chimes for a girl, so change comes…step by step…peal by peal.
In Suas, we want to see all girls and boys realise their rights and achieve their full potential. Social change happens when enough people start to challenge the conventional wisdom like this brave woman. When enough people step forward together and start to question the assumptions that have become ‘normalised’.
The courage of this woman inspires me. It convinces me that together we can bring about change. Each of us need to recognise and find our own ways to answer that bell. To challenge…step by step…assumptions that start from the belief that some are more equal than others.
That’s when equality starts to ring out! That’s when every girl and boy gets a step closer to having the chance to be all that they can be.
Today is International Women’s Day and I want to thank you for all you do to make our work possible.
Thank you for being part of the Suas movement!