Every day, everywhere, all over the world, women and girls face violence. While there is no single cause to such violence, one of the strongest and most consistent factors are the harmful social norms that uphold male dominance and control over women’s bodies and lives.
But we can change it. And it starts with challenging these widely-held attitudes and beliefs, with a little help from some amazing artists and musicians.
As part of our global movement to eliminate violence against women and girls, twelve rappers, poets and singers from across Asia, Africa and Latin America played in a global jam session called the “Say Enough Cypher”, with original poems and songs aimed at transforming the social norms that fuel gender-based violence.
Via rap, rhythm and rhyme, they lent their voice to say #Enough to violence against women and girls.
“Girl cries wolf and no one comes running”
“Art touches people emotionally and can give solace to the marginalized and confront the powerful.”
Yusra is a spoken word poet, writer, comedienne, and feminist activist from Lahore, Pakistan. She founded the Lahore chapter of Auratnaak, Pakistan’s first all-female standup comedy troupe, and is also a Fulbright scholar. Yusra believes in cultivating creative communities, in spoken word poetry, and in using both the written word and performing arts to subvert social hierarchies.
“They call me persistent weeds because I never let myself die”
“To end violence against women, it is vital that we create alliances that embrace our diversities; this is a task for the whole of our society. However, it is women who have to lead this transformation.”
Rebeca Lane is a feminist rapper and poet from Guatemala and a trailblazer for women in rap in Central America. As a poet she’s been committed to her liberation as a woman and the heterosexual roles imposed on her body, and the colonization and militarization of the land she’s been born in. (Photo: Fabian Nobile)
“Hit a girl, hit the world, and the world hits back”
“It is important that my generation and the next generation do better. I choose to do this through my art because it is the most powerful tool I have, youth respond well to it too!”
Ko-Jo Cue is a socially conscious rapper from Ghana who combines rap music with Afro elements to tell an African story. He is passionate about inspiring youth, inter-generational connections and Pan-Africanism. Ko-Jo aims to positively affect the world with his of view and message driven music.
“They are shutting us up, our girls are being raped”
“We need hip hop to start denouncing what is happening in our society. People in Colombia are afraid to speak and hip hop is a tool to say what they think.”
Líricas del Caos is a feminist rap group from Colombia that promotes a Hip Hop scene free of sexist violence through the practice of Freestyle and composition of antipatriarchal lyrics. They are motivated by the togetherness and complicity between women who rap with processes of healing the wounds of war,and sexist, racist, classist, lesbophobic and gordophobic violence. (Photo: Liricas del Caos)
“I’m not an invitation. I’m just freedoms that must be respected”
“I think art is an indispensable engine for social change. The artist ends up being a mirror for society and being a model, he must bring messages to a positive change of society.”
Enia is a rapper, poet and social activist fighting for the rights of women and girls. She’s a big, bold voice in rap and poetry as a part of the RAP Women's Revolution which empowers women to claim their rights through music and poetry and as a mentor to artists and poets in Words are Words (Palavras São Palavras). Enia believes in art as a tool of activism and works with artists and social activists from around the world, to bring about social change.