Meera Vijayann an Indian, is an independent journalist currently based in Washington DC. She covers socially relevant topics mainly women’s rights and development. As a social activist, she works in association with +SocialGood, an initiative by the United Nations Foundation. She also works with the international youth-led organization, Youth to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Meera holds the position of Communications Manager and Co-Coordinator at Ashoka, Arlington and Virginia. She is also Youth Ambassador for India with Youth to End Social Violence in Conflict.
Meera Vijayann used digital media in creative ways to empower, raise awareness and educate youth about the issues of sexual violence.
Meera’s powerful articles and blog posts have appeared in media outlets such as Forbes, The Guardian, The Deccan Herald, The Huffington Post, CNN, IBN LIVE, Open Democracy and The New Indian Express. She wrote a blog post “I Don’t Want To Be Just A Survivor: Moving On From An Acid Attack” in which she discussed about the attitude of society towards acid attack victims. Her another post “Empowering Indian Dads To End Gender Inequality At Home” is about how empathy can empower Indian men to reduce violence against women.
In 2013, Meera Vijayann won the CNN-IBN Citizen Journalism Award for reporting of the protest that followed the Delhi Gang Rape. She presented a talk on ‘Finding a voice against sexual violence’ at TEDx House of Parliament in London and at the National Assembly of Wales.
In her TED talk, she narrated a personal story of sexual violence. When she was just seven years old a private male tutor appointed by her parents to teach her, molested her. This was her first encounter with physical abuse. She recounted many more of such incidents as she grew up in different parts of India. This left a deep mark on her mind. Personal stories of sexual violence are often very difficult to listen, but that is what Meera Vijayann is convincing people to open up about. Her message to women not just in India but all over the world is to speak up openly on tough, taboo topics. If this happens only then we can bring a change in the world where we live.
Meera is one of the boldest women speaking on gender violence, and she encourages everyone to speak up on the topic. It takes a lot of mental strength to recount the horrific memories we went through, but that is what strong and inspiring women like Meera do.
To sum up what Meera Vijayann wants, sometimes, we cannot believe that something can happen to us, or to someone close to us, but hiding it won’t make it disappear. It will only make the trauma to go deep inside you. So go forward speak up!