This is the ISL sign for support.
During life's most challenging times, there has always been a woman by my side supporting me.
From my family feminine tribe made up of my Grandmothers, my Mum, my Sister, my Sister in Laws, my Aunties, my Cousins and my Nieces. When one of these Goddesses is taken it is the women of the family who takes up and continues the legacy they left behind. They continue to keep the family alive.
Then there are the women that you have no blood tie but that refuse to walk away. They stay with you and support you through thick and thin. They want to rebuild you, not break you. They are your soul sisters.
Then there are women who are strangers but become your rock during the most vulnerable times. The midwife who is as reassuring and as loving as your mother. She sees your baby take its first breath. Then there is the palliative nurse who tells you that your mother will soon take her last. The audiologist who tells you your baby can not hear. The Physiotherapist who tells you "keep at it he will soon walk. " The Speech and Language Therapist who gave you a hug because she witnessed the outburst of his frustration as he couldn't communicate what he needed. The Occupational Therapist who didn't stop trying until she found a solution, so that a 5 minute car journey wouldn't cause so much anxiety. The teachers who always go the extra mile to make sure your child reaches their full potential. The Oncology Nurse who pulls you aside and asks "how were things during this round (of chemo)? This is very hard on you too."
Then there are women you have never met but help you fight for your child's rights. Encouraging you to never give up because you can do it. The online support groups set up by women to reach out so we never feel alone during the most vulnerable times.
We must not only celebrate the bravery of a woman's vulnerability in her story or fight, but also lift women higher in their victories and speak positively about them. We must stand up for each other when we see the injustice in society, our workplace, in our homes, in our families or circles.
This is Pinar Gültekin, the woman who ignited the Black and White #ChallengeAccepted movement of women supporting women around the world. Pinar was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. She was only 27. Every day Turkish women wake up to see black and white photos in the newspapers of women who have been murdered. This challenge is about raising awareness and showing these women that they're not alone. It is also about educating ourselves and focusing on what is happening to our sisters around the world.
The meaning of the challenge started as a way for women to use their voices. It was an act of solidarity with the women lost to femicide in Turkey. The challenge was to show that one day these photos could end up in the news.
I owe the creation of my life to one woman but my living and wellbeing of my life to many women. Lets continue to support each with small acts of kindness, listening years, open hearts and minds. Let have the imagination to see life in their shoes before we judge, insult or bring each other down.
Lets cry, wipe away tears, pat each others backs, lets nod our honest heads and say me too. Lets remember we have a sisterhood and that means navigating our way in this world together not against one another.
Most importantly, lets continue to seek justice for women who are not as priviledged as we are, for women who are struggling to get their voices heard. The black and white photo challenge lost its meaning, but it is up to us to remind people of what it is about.
It is so much more than an Instagram post.