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A Free Body

Poem By Rahina Balarab, Storyteller, Project Manager, Beautiful Echoes, Oralité Plus, Innovate and Learn grantee, Niger

I am a girl, a woman, a human being.

I say no to female circumcision.
Don't mutilate and cut me anymore.
Since the dawn of time until today, this practice has only destroyed bodies and lives.

I am a girl, a woman, a human being.
I say stop early and forced marriage.
I want to grow up, I want to be educated, 
I want to be fulfilled, I want to be autonomous and I want to choose.

I am a girl, a woman, a human being. 
I come from the village, the hamlets, the big cities, I come from everywhere.

I am a flower, a plant, a tree. 
Do not cut any of my leaves, water me, 
let me grow and root me firmly because all the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.

I am a girl, a woman, a human being. I say yes to my bodily well-being. 
I urge men and women everywhere to raise awareness, 
from the village to the big city, 
from the hospital to the maternity ward,
so that women and girls with obstetric fistula today will be the last cases under this blue sky.

I am a girl, a woman, a human.
I am life, I am hope, I am the future.
Rahina

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