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International Woman's Day

Living in a first world country we often forget many things.

We have the privilege of sleeping soundly without fears, we have the privilege of choosing who we love, driving a car, getting an education, roaming the streets on our own, drinking alcohol and even the freedom to choose what we wear.

Today I bring you a story so courageous of a woman who wanted so badly to have her freedom. A woman so intelligent but unable to use her brain. A woman so beautiful, yet her beauty hidden in a cloud of black.

In order to protect her identity, I am unable by law to divulge her name or the exact location that she originated from.

I first met Amal at a house warming and the first thing I noticed about her was her strong, silent presence. Alone, observing everything, there was a certain contentment about her. Even though she was devoid of company.

It was a good half an hour before I approached her. Introducing myself. There was an instant connection and it was on this night that we formed a very special friendship. A friendship set in concrete and I felt an overwhelming instinct to protect, like an older sibling feels for her younger sister. My woman’s intuition had kicked in. There was a reason our paths had met.

This is her story.

Amal was born in a country where women are born & bred to serve the man and from the very beginning she was taught to clean, cook and serve her father and her many brothers.

Grooming her for the man that they chose for her. In hindsight a mere servant.

In a country where she had no voice, yet from a very young age she did try to speak out and she did try and stand up for herself.

Her body wears an insurmountable number of scars from beatings and burns that were bestowed upon her at the mere mention that she had an opposing view.

These scars she wears like a warrior wears their ink. Proof to remind her that no one will ever silence her, that no one will ever stand over her and she will always use her voice.

Amal did try to get an education and went as far as to take her story to the authorities, yet it fell on deaf ears. She is after all only a woman. She must listen to the man. It is the law.

More beatings.

The final straw came when she was to be forced to marry a man she had never met. She knew she had to get out and make her move.

The risk of escape was punishment by death a risk she was willing to take.

The details of her escape I will not share, I don’t want to give away how she managed to get away for fear that the method she used may be blocked in future. Making it impossible for woman in her similar position to be free.

What I can tell you is that she chose to seek refuge in Australia. A country that protects women, lifts them up and stands behind them. It is against the law to strike a woman or anyone for that matter.

As a refugee she was given the right of residency. A right that she does not take for granted. On her own she is educating herself and on her own she takes on those jobs that don’t pay much and no one wants to do.

She is an advocate for refugees in similar situations and most of her time is taken up by volunteer work.

Alone she stands but she has an aim, she has a goal and nothing or no one will get in the way of her freedom or dreams.

Amal in her own words.

“Living in this country is like being born again, my life has just started now.

I just want to be independent, I just want to be myself.

In the future my aim is to educate myself and help all the women like me. Help them have a voice. Women are strong, and we are intelligent. I want to help empower those women that are unable to empower themselves.

I want to be an Australian it is the best place for all woman. Australia has given me life. Australia has given me everything.”

You Amal are very special and an inspiration to all women. On this day International Woman’s day, we honour your bravery & courage in hope that this story reaches even one women in your similar situation and helps them to be as strong as you are.

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