Published by JaneLee on 07 Mar 2013 at 02:57 am
Author and Wiser.org member Amy shares the story of how her passion for women’s empowerment led her to write a novel about the origins of honor killing in order to bring more awareness to the issue. She also issues a challenge: This International Women’s Day, will you make a public vow to work toward a better world for women?
By Amy Logan
Last year on March 8, International Women’s Day, I published my debut novel, The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice, a literary suspense novel about the search for the ancient, lost origins of “honor killing” in the Arab world. I spent over a decade researching the real origins of this violent crime and wove them into a page-turner to entice people to learn about it, understand it better and end it. It was a labor of love for me to create this story, a gift to the 800 million women and girls who live fearful, curtailed lives under the threat of honor violence in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa and immigrant communities worldwide. More than anything, I want them to be safe, treated with respect, empowered and free to pursue their heart’s calling.
My passion grew out of the trauma of being a two-time victim of gender-based violence. I deconstructed honor killing so I could understand how it managed to become normalized in some places, and perhaps, learn some clue about the root of all violence. Taking the mystery out of it had a healing effect on me. It also empowered me to help potentially millions of others by sharing what I discovered.
Not everyone is as organically galvanized to commit themselves to a cause, and if you’re searching for more passion or motivation, there is something you can do to stoke the fire under yourself. Recently, a fan of my book, Anu Bhatnagar, an Indian woman living in Dubai, found me on Facebook and offered to translate my book into Hindi and distribute it in India – for free. It has been my dream to have my novel translated into the languages of the Honor Killing Zone – Arabic, Urdu, Pashtun, Farsi, Turkish and Hindi, among many others. I graciously accepted her generous offer. Then I discovered that Anu had publicly announced her commitment to women’s rights: “I promise I will spend 10 percent of my time for the rest of my life as my action to support women in this world. Women, their safety, their freedom, their dignity and right to live without fear.”
This really impressed me. I mean, how many people do you know who have vowed publicly, in specific terms, to work for their cause? Imagine if we all took a public vow about our commitment to transform the world. Put it on our websites, Facebook profiles, Twitter. Lay our promise of devotion out there for everyone to see: this is how committed I am. Talk about doubling-down our leadership! How could we not transform the world with that kind of bold stand?
Now, who has the guts to do that?
This is scary, but I am going to start. Anu’s pledge inspired mine: I vow to give at least 10% of my time to advancing women’s empowerment globally for the rest of my life. I will post this to my social media channels and this Wiser.org blog. I will post it on my computer monitor to remind myself. I will ask my coach to check in on my progress at each bi-monthly call.
While I already spend more time than that on my cause most weeks, I like the focus, the specialness – dare I say, a sense of how sacred it is to me – that arises by taking this vow. I believe it will energize me when I am tired or discouraged or lost – not because it’s an obligation I took on but because it’s something I feel deeply connected to – my life purpose. Reconnecting with and honoring what we value most resonates inside us and even reduces stress, the neuroscience research shows. Perhaps most importantly, staying connected to my purpose heightens my joy, my coach Ann Betz recently reminded me.
What vow will you take in honor of this International Women’s Day? How will you leverage it by taking it public? How will you stay accountable to your promise?
The author of The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice, Amy Logan is a professional Co-Active Coach of leaders, activists and social entrepreneurs; a communications, book publishing and marketing consultant; and ghostwriter for The Huffington Post. Reach her at www.amylogan.com
You may also like to connect with Amy on Wiser.org.
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