"Be Your Own Hero"
Guest blog by: Shucheesmita Simonti
A few weeks ago, I attended a self-defense workshop organized by She Matters and JUNO Self Defense Training. It was an amazing experience.
It was organized as part of She Matters’ Lotus Flower Programme with the intention to empower the women.
This got me remembering something I discussed in a feminist camp I attended last year- that we need to encourage self- defense training,
we need to promote martial arts lessons as a tool to women empowerment. The reason? Simple. All across the world, women continue to experience sexual abuse,
harassment, rape and other forms of violence. The perpetrators often manage to take advantage of their physical strength. Women are encouraged to learn and excel at
cooking, raising children, they are expected to look “beautiful” every time, but we are never encouraged to stand up for ourselves or enhance their physical strength.
And it is for this reason, I feel that we must prioritise acquiring this skill.
When I was invited to participate in the workshop, I was a little hesitant. Because I have never been a sports enthusiast.
I did take Judo classes when I was 19 but dropped out due to a number of reasons. In addition, just the day before the workshop, I went on a solo trip to Gent, Belgium
and my feet were still hurting from all the walking I did. But I had an inner calling to go and give it a try. And I am so glad that I did!
Our coach, Synthia Stoffer, a renowned Krav-Maga expert was amazing. She taught us several important tricks in 2 hours, and we discussed different potentially
dangerous situations. It was interactive, and the environment was supportive which helped me get over my earlier anxiety if I could manage to participate in the
workshop. This really made me feel empowered and in charge of my life’s journey. When we face dangerous situations, physical and mental strength are equally
important and often can help us get out of the situation safely. This is why I want to personally pursue Martial Arts, and would encourage other women also to do so.
If you do not have access to lessons, try watching videos online. You never know when it comes handy! We need to become our own sheroes, we might (or might not)
find help and we need to fight with all our might!
Last but not the least, I am so grateful to Christina Moreno, She Matters founder CEO, for giving me this opportunity.
Christina, you are doing an amazing job with She Matters! Please keep it up!
About Shucheesmita Simonti:
Shucheesmita is a daughter of Supriti Dhar, a courageous journalist and women’s rights activist from Bangladesh.
Because of her outspoken criticism of partriarchal structures and women’s inferior position in traditional Bangladeshi society,
for her efforts to empower women she has been harassed and threatened.
Read the whole article on: https://womenchapterenglish.com/be-your-own-shero/
About She Matters:
She Matters empowers refugee and migrant women to build their social and economic capital, boost their self-confidence as well as become leaders in their homes,
businesses, and communities. She Matters envisions a world where all refugee and migrant women:
are empowered to fully participate in economic life across all sectors;
have equal access to education and political participation;
are free from violence;
have the support and services they need to thrive in daily life;
inform and drive their own solutions and development.