Israeli musician Aya Korem has a lot to say now that it’s International Women’s Day. It’s a day not just to celebrate and support women everywhere, she says, but it’s a day to shed light on what being a woman is like. And a lot of being a woman isn’t pretty, easy, or even safe.
Women are often the victims of sexual and domestic violence around the world, for instance. According to RAINN, one out of every six women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. In addition, UN Women estimates 35% of women worldwide have experienced sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives, whereas 70% of women “have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.”
This is why Korem recorded herself reading a piece she heard at the Women’s March, which she posted on Facebook. She translated a poem by a 19-year-old girl named Nina Donovan from Tennessee that she heard Ashley Judd read at the march, because it spoke to her and even inspired her to reimagine parts of it from her own perspective as an Israeli woman. My colleague, Lior Zaltzman, translated her explanation below:
I admit that I get driven a little crazy every year, by this festival that happens around us on Women’s Day, which mostly has nothing to do with substantive issues like violence, sexual harassment or discrimination. On January 21, I too, was sitting in front of the computer and watched in tears all these amazing women around the world, marching together. I saw the wonderful Ashley Judd, reading a poem written by a 19-year-old woman, Nina Donovan from Tennessee, called “I’m a Nasty Woman” paraphrasing that nickname Trump gave Hillary Clinton during his campaign. A few days later, I had an epiphany. I went home, translated some of it, wrote some of it, adapted some of it, until I felt that this was it.
Watch the video, which is in Hebrew, below: