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The first half of March every year is the time when the media and advertising fraternities around the world go into a frenzy of ‘celebrating womanhood’, just because International Women’s Day falls on March 8th. At eShe, however, every day is Women’s Day and so you’ll find us consistent in our focus on strong women doing amazing things.
We’re especially honoured to have on our cover this month a woman who had to suffer enormous personal costs just so that she could live the life of her own choosing. At the age of 14, petrified of how marriage had left her five sisters abused and enslaved, Jasvinder Sanghera (p.30) ran away from her conservative Sikh home in Derby, UK, to escape being married off. The retribution was swift: her family disowned her and left her to fend for herself.
When one of her sisters committed suicide at the age of 24, Jasvinder took it upon herself to stand up for all women who had to suffer honour-based abuse and forced marriages. She set up a charity that has, over 26 years, not only helped thousands of girls, it has also forced the UK government to effect a law against forced marriage.
When we use our suffering to fuel our mission, we turn poison into medicine, as the Buddhist sage Nichiren Daishonin said. Why celebrate just one day when women have been goddesses for centuries?