Give Child Marriage the Finger!

Yesterday, I wrote about the privileges of attending such a personal event as a memorial or funeral service – one where I had no deep connection with the deceased but was initially there to support a good friend.

I want to continue talking about my friend’s mother – this remarkable, active woman whom even in her more later stages of dementia followed global issues surrounding women’s rights and equality. Whom, even in her final days where she was bed-ridden and extremely weak, gave a strict warning to her new caregiver, never to call her a girl again. She said, “I am NOT a girl. I am a woman!”

She spent countless social working hours going to homes of women in need of support and help. She raised 6 feminist children – now 2 men and 4 women. Her grandchildren have also been influenced heavily by their late grandmother’s views.

It was the one granddaughter whom told a funny anecdote of how her grandmother was ranting about some a-hole driver who cut her off. She said, “I gave him the finger!”

The granddaughter, shocked, asked, “Grandma… you really gave him the finger’?”

“Yes! I did!” And to show what she meant, she illustrated the gesture to her grandchild.

It was the index finger. 🙂

Now, to back track a bit, I have been following a specific campaign from Plan International’s ‘I Am a Girl’ called Give Child Marriage the Finger!

This was just too much of a coincidence… Over the last few months, with the Women’s March, there’s been heated conversations of whether or not protests have any value to actually cause change. Well, I don’t know for sure – but if it gets the conversation going, I’m all for it.

Here I was at a memorial service of an active and passionate feminist, listening about how she gave some one the ‘finger’ and this campaign pokes fun in the same light, taking the obscene gesture but this time, it is the wedding ring finger. Which, adorned with a black rubber ring which says, “End Child Marriage” represents a fight to end forced marriages of girls whom will basically have no freedom but a life of slavery where she is physically and sexually abused, forced to have children before she finishes developing, and taken away her rights to have an education and therefore a life she would like to have. Which in the end, has been proven, would benefit the economy if she stood a chance for a normal life.

I held back from making a donation before only because I wanted to do more research – I wanted to be sure the money would be put to good use (and not in the pockets of a CEO or VP who makes a 6-figure salary ‘running’ the organization).

Going to the memorial service, hearing about this remarkable lady’s life and that story of her giving the (index) finger, it was like the universe was telling me something. And it’s moments like these where you do not question things. You see them for being far more then just mere coincidences and you do what your heart knows is right.

I quickly made my donation – and then spoke to my husband to see if we can do more than just a one-time payment. But this first donation was in memory of my friend’s mother. It as my way to extend her legacy and spread her goodness of everything she believed in and stood for.

This is what she would have wanted – for others to pay it forward and lead by example as she had until her 89th year on earth.

 

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