CYDI Antigua and Barbuda

In recognition of Orange Day Growing up girl By Cleon Athill I remember quite vividly my experiences growing up girl. I remember the feelings I felt as I grew up girl, I remember the pains of adult women when I was a girl, as I grew up girl; I remember the images of women huddling over stove, over bath, over hoe, in the day; and the sound of their sighs and muffled moans at night. I remember the miracles that women spun as they make one mango serve an entire family, turn water into milk, kiss the pain from scraped knees, puff air back into deflated egos; and see love in cold stares I remember the screams of women as they cower in shame or shield their children with their bodies, from the blows of angry men. I remember the pained looks and reassuring glances through bruised eyes. I remember too well the prison of my youth as I grew up girl….
The do’s, the must’s, the don’t’s, the can’ts, the shouldn’ts….. The dreams, the plans, the emotions, swishing around in confusion in this prison as I grew up girl… I remember the yearning, the questioning, and the promising as I grew up girl. I remember the promise I made to myself as I grew up girl… grow up outside the dungeon called girl! I remember the vision I had of my self as I grew up girl….strong, independent, successful, influential…… caring I remember the images of woman that I was fed as I grew up girl….and I remember that those images did not match the vision I had of myself as a woman…as I grew up girl. And so as I grew up girl, I knew that I had a mission… to step into womanhood, and experience its full personhood…..and celebrate sisterhood! Learn more about the United Nations Initiative to End Violence Against Women and Girls and Orange Day by visiting