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Meera Vijayann

For the past few years, I have written extensively on gender rights and sexual violence in India. Since I believed in the power of personal stories, I recorded my own experiences in India to bring my own reality, as a young Indian woman, to a global community. I reported primarily on citizen journalism platforms such as CNN ireport, CNN IBN's Citizen Journalist platform and Guardian Witness. Looking back, I realise how much things have changed since the Delhi gang rape in 2012, where a young girl was brutally raped in a moving bus in South Delhi. This was the first incident that brought thousands out to the streets in India. Since then, I have worked relentlessly to write more about this issue as women's rights are often overlooked by the mainstream media.

Recently, I was invited to present at the TEDx Houses of Parliament and I talked about my work in India. I talked about the challenges that many Indian women like me face in talking about sexual violence. I was astounded by the response. Several women came forward after the talk, and told me about how they've stayed silent despite having faced harassment or witnessing abuse. One woman, cried as she recounted the painful memories of witnessing her friend being sexually abused by a prominent spiritual teacher. I have taken it upon myself to ensure that these people are given a voice through my journalism. What I am most proud about is the fact that so many young person seemed to feel less ashamed about speaking up about their stories. That, to me, is a victory.

Watch the video of my talk on "Finding a voice against sexual violence" at TEDx HoP:


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