Wake up! Awake the Globe! – for a Social Change.

There is no time to lose I heard her say
Cash your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time, lose your dreams
And you, will lose your mind

                                                [Arundhati Roy – God of Small Things]

There are many girl children, young girls and women in this world who want to share something with others; there are many who feel to cry aloud and tell out the injustice and  sufferings they face in their societies, as well as their smiles and joys when they have achieved something in their lives.  But, are their voices being heard?

Asian Press Institute [API] was initiated for the unheard to be heard.

Starting from the ancient times, till today, women were not given opportunities to express themselves in the societies. Had due place been given, women would have been a contributing factor, as men, to justice, peace and sustainable development.

Expression is not only voicing it in words; expression through art, expression through culture, expression through writing. Silence too is an expression. Silence too is a language – a language which most people don’t understand.  The silent language of a woman does not pronounce that she is happy, being so. A woman has feelings, emotions, thoughts and ideologies. But from historic ages, this woman has been used for only household tasks and has not been given the opportunity to be free, expressive and voice out her ideas.

As in Article 19 of the UDHR, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;”  But does a woman have this right? Is she being treated as one among ‘everyone’?

The answer for this is no more left open. In today’s world women have begun to express their opinions. With the awake of globalization, the emergence of bi-lateral, multi-lateral, multi-national and transnational companies, do not keep women away from entering these. Women today are seen in high positions all over the world. This proves to the world, that women are not just silent instruments that could bring a sound only when the player wants it to. The women have their own sounds, they have a voice – but the fact is that their interests and ideas are not given the needed respect and recognition even in this modern, developed, and civilized society.

According to Article 1 of the Declaration on the Right to Development, ‘Every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.

Even though the declaration clearly states about the three elements of  development – participate in, contribute to, enjoy the rights of development, it is always not the woman whose concern is considered in a development process of a country. It has become a common scenario that everyone tends to forget the fact that a woman is the main source to life; and when a woman benefits it is beneficial to the whole family, society and country. For this, every single voice of a woman should not go unheard. Voices once spoken are soon forgotten; but voices that are written shall always remain written forever.

Writing is a tool which could be used in different forms to pierce through the minds of readers.

Hence I came up with this idea of creating this web based wire – the API, where women and young girls could write and share their stories and experiences with others around the globe to wake up…… awake the globe – for a social change. This organization founded on this special day – ‘International Human Rights Day’ will use the writings of women from all around the globe to voice out the voices of the unheard – the poor, vulnerable, discriminated children, young girls and women in the globe, and to bring social change to all men and women.

A foundation alone is not sufficient for a home to be completed; unless there are strong pillars and walls the home cannot be strong. The guest writers and the API writers are the pillars, whose writings, like bricks, have helped to build the walls of API home.

API could not have taken its shape today, if not for the writers – both the Guest Writers and API Writers, who contributed their thoughts, ideas, time and resources to make API what it is today, on this special day of all human beings – The International Human Rights Day!While quoting the words of Arundhati Roy in her book ‘The God of Small Things’,  “For men (refers to both men and women) of Action, It is Satisfaction”, I take this opportunity to wish all individuals and organizations who are in action, promoting and protecting the rights of men and women, peace and sustainable development; and for all of your contribution towards social change.

Where we come from does not determine who we can become. What we look like places no limits on what we can achieve. We should all have the right to express ourselves, all have the right to be heard, all have the right to be what we can be: To reach for the sky and touch the stars. No matter who we are, no matter whether we are man or woman, or rich or poor:

 My voice; my right. My voice counts”. [Desmond Tutu, Archbishop of South Africa]

E. Ariyaratnam | Founding President – Asian Press Institute