• Dalia Lilly

Speak on This Day and Every Day - Prepare to feel Empowered!

Speak on This Day and Every Day

There was a time in my life where I wasn't able to use my voice to speak up for myself. I had no problem speaking on behalf of others but it was much more difficult to speak my own truth. I refused to be vulnerable because I was attached to this old story that to be vulnerable meant that others will hurt me badly. In an ongoing healing, learning, and growth process through self-improvement (more on that in another post), I found the power of my voice. I didn't do it alone and I'm grateful for everyone who was involved in guiding and supporting me. My journey has only enhanced and empowered me as a voice actor, public speaker, teacher, and mentor to other young women.

Today, on this woman's day I want to talk about the power of our collective voices. A couple of years ago, I posted a short piece on the importance of us women using our voices. I have included it here below but have since expanded on it because I still believe this today. This blog post is meant to be uplifting, empowering, and an opportunity for us to elevate the conversation around gender equality and protection for girls and women all over the world. Please feel free to comment, like, share, or shoot me an email with your thoughts or feedback.

Without further delay.....

On this International Women’s Day, I am grateful that I am free to speak for myself. However, we get to create a world where every woman feels that way too. I get to be part of creating a world where we don’t need to recognize women on one day. We women get to be acknowledged and recognized for our contributions every day.

Until the day comes where we don’t need a special occasion to remind us of that, our work continues. We will speak for ourselves and for young girls and women that cannot or have not found their own voices yet. We must continue to dig deep and support each other by using our voices and our collective strength to stand up against oppression and violence towards women and girls.

We currently live in a world where men have taken it upon themselves to speak for us and to decide for us. We currently live in a world where people decide what our worth is. We currently live in a world where women are victimized and criticized for daring to speak their truth. We currently live in a world where societies insist that women compare and compete against each other.

We live in a world where a woman’s worth and dignity still has a price tag on it. We still live in a world where it is acceptable to tear down women who are courageous enough to lead, be seen, and be heard. We still live in a world where the majority may want to see us but not hear from us. In many places, they want to neither see us nor hear us. We live in this world, but it does not mean we still accept the status quo. Every day there are women changing the narrative by empowering others to speak up, to act, and to create impact. The more we do this, the louder all our voices become.

There is only one person who gets to decide how worthy you are and that’s YOU! Let’s keep our voices clear and our messages full of love and empowerment. We are the voice for the voiceless. We are light in the dark. We are the legs that keep walking, and the eyes that witness everything.

I compare us women to water and I invite you to consider the reasons why they are.

Women are as important as water flow. Water is the most powerful element on our planet and yet having drinkable, flowing water is a privilege, not an entitlement. Many people suffer without proper water flow. Water shapes continents. It cuts through land masses to create new paths, makes room for life to grow and thrive, and supports whole ecosystems. In order to keep our water flow abundant, we must respect and protect our planet. The same goes for women. We are not tools, property, or anyone’s entitlement. We are a powerful force. There is nothing more powerful than the flow of water or a woman’s voice. We shape families and societies. We make room for life to thrive and grow by safeguarding, nurturing, and teaching the next generation.

Even the hardest surfaces will eventually be smoothed out by the consistent flow of water moving forward. Water does not and cannot flow backwards from where it came, and neither should we. Water can slow down or speed up, and it can stop and change directions. If there are barriers, water finds a way around or through them. We are JUST LIKE THAT. With every setback, we simply reset and move forward. Sometimes that flow is urgent and unyielding, and other times it is a quiet murmur. Water can always find its way into the tiniest of cracks where everything else is shut out. So too can our voices. We get to treat our voices with the same importance and urgency that water has for our survival.

So, to all the women and young girls out there, claim your voices and your spaces.

If there is one thing you can do today, ask yourself:

Where can I use my voice today? Who can I use my voice to support or uplift?

Empower yourself to use your voice. Even if your voice starts off quiet and hesitant, or even if it can only say one kind thing about yourself all day long; that my friends is an improvement. That is a step forward. It is a powerful thing to decide to use your voice to uplift yourself and even more powerful to do so in the service of others. This is how we empower ourselves and each other. This is how we create an uplifting movement. This is how WE DEFINE our value and worth.


Dalia Ramahi VO