Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves Samar Minallah Khan July 6, 2015

Photo courtesy of samarminallahkhan.com

Photo courtesy of samarminallahkhan.com

More and more these days, I’ve been hearing both women and men say that feminism is not a women-only movement. It’s been interesting to see how men have added their voices and influence to the movement, and how women have engaged them and leveraged their involvement to fuel progress.

One such woman is filmmaker Samar Minallah Khan who has focused her work on bringing an old Pakistani practice to the spotlight — swara, where a daughter is given away as payment for a crime. After several years of studying the practice and its victims, Khan, who is an anthropologist and documentarian, produced a documentary in 2003 called Swara—A Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Her work initially addressed all sides of the practice, incorporating all voices just to give the full picture to educate viewers. However, what struck her most were the men who had the courage to refuse to give their daughters away. She told NPR:

“Men, too, face hurdles for speaking up and for challenging norms,” she says. “Standing up in the face of society and country expectations, that takes a lot of courage.”

And their bravery paid off. In 2004, Pakistan outlawed swara, making it illegal to give away daughters to compensate for crimes.

Khan was recently honored as one of five women honored with a Global Leadership Award by Vital Voices, a group founded by Hillary Clinton after the World Conference of Women in Beijing in 1995.

Thank you for your activism, Samar. I look forward to following your work that challenges norms and gives voice to untold stories!

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LizzLoves Sarah Kay’s TED Talk July 19, 2013

Sarah Kay TED 2011

Sarah Kay at TED 2011

TGIF! It’s blazing hot here in New Jersey, so I’m cooling off with an inspirational TED Talk that features spoken word poet Sarah Kay performing her poem “If I Should Have a Daughter.” I’m going to let the video speak for itself, but going in you should know how awesome Sarah is: not only is she a talented wordsmith who has been speaking her mind through poetry since she was 14, but she is also the founder of Project V.O.I.C.E (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), an organization that uses spoken word to educate, inspire and entertain.

 

I think that moms with daughters will especially enjoy this talk. Sarah shares a poem about inspiring young girls to face the world with courage, love and wonder, all while knowing their mothers are behind them the whole way. She also talks about her beginnings with poetry and how she’s passing it on to young, budding—and sometimes skeptical—writers.

 

If you’re having a slow summer Friday at work, I recommend you watch the whole video. If you only have a stolen moment, then just watch her perform one of her poems for the first 3:37 minutes of the video.

 

To learn more about Sarah and where you can see her perform next, check out her website here.