Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we would do well to focus our energies on protecting one of the most vulnerable segments of the female population - Black trans women.  

According to the Trans Murder Monitoring report, over 320 trans people were killed this past year globally. The majority of them were Black trans women. Nearly all strangled, shot multiple times, or beaten beyond recognition. And these numbers likely undercount the true death toll.

Behind the statistics are precious lives that have been ruthlessly extinguished by transphobic violence. The common thread connecting most deaths? Dehumanisation - society's refusal to acknowledge the humanity and womanhood of trans individuals.

Transphobia, homophobia, and racism all contribute to the unconscionable violence faced by Black trans women. We as a society give license to marginalize and deny dignity to trans individuals - often with deadly consequences. We literally privilege debates over “real womanhood” over the actual LIVES of marginalised women.  

So on this day, we all have a choice - do we extend our hands to ALL people facing gender-based violence, or do we continue bisecting womanhood into simplistic, reductive categories? Do we live up to principles of equity, or do we abandon the vulnerable women in our communities?

Protecting trans women and girls means fighting societal stigma that marks their very existence as deviant. It means donating time and money to our organisation, the Black Trans Alliance, that provides critical services and support to our community.  

And it means having the difficult conversations within our families, workplaces, friend circles to change hearts and minds. Because no woman - cis or trans - is expendable in the fight for gender justice. 

Today, let's stand in solidarity with trans women and girls facing violence worldwide. But even more importantly, let's commit to taking action beyond this day - until ALL women, especially the most marginalised among us, can live freely with safety and dignity.