I remember the world when I was just five years old
The books that we read and the stories we were all told
Made me think that in my future a wife is all I’d be
Caring for a home and a mother of two or three
But the world was changing, by the time I was sixteen
Options now lay before me and I was super keen
Soon I was in steel toe-capped boots and a hard-hat
Digging groundworks or tiling roofs like an acrobat
I’m grateful to all those men who freely shared their skills
I learnt to use cement mixers and pneumatic drills
The men who trained me proved that they were of noble heart
Ensuring that a woman could feel she had a part
Though the work was tough, soon I’d acquired trades galore
But now I sensed within me a hunger for something more
I volunteered for construction projects near and far
Lusaka, Bucharest, Managua and Accra
I was assigned to teach women who had been abused
Their accounts of mistreatment left me far from amused
Travelling to other lands, meeting women everywhere
Who show courage and zeal in a world that is unfair
Empowering all women is still a global quest
Which will allow humanity to be at it’s best
We remember the girls who brought football home last year
In every town and village we heard a mighty cheer
We were celebrating not just winning a sports game
But opened doors, smashed glass ceilings, women in the frame!
That champion football squad now amplify the voice
Of women young and old fighting for a better choice
Parts of this world have made progress or so it would seem
Yet there are still many women who can only dream
They will have the chance for training and education
To escape cruelty, violence and deprivation
So please we urge re-focus on the clear rationale
Celebrating women here and international
Be it colleagues, friends, daughters, sisters, aunties or wife
Embrace equality – value women in your life!
This is a rhyme I came up with recently. I just wanted to mention that it is not for IWD – which seems to be a token or novelty to many, more of a PR opportunity than a decisive turning point. I wrote it for an online conference (webinar) that was all about educational programs for people who have been mistreated, often due to being financially dependent on their abusers. As you may well imagine, the vast majority of those enrolled in these programs are women.
I do not consider myself a “feminist”, but I do despise cruelty and violence, injustice and oppression. I am grateful that I have enjoyed freedom of choice in so many areas of my life. Being a mother and rearing children is a wonderful honour, yet in many lands this responsibility is forced upon women, often girls who are still children and have been effectively sold as brides. I am passionate about protecting women who are often denied choices, controlled by threats and violence, and who are viewed as inconsequential slaves.
The corporate entities who make a fuss over these international days – making pledges and putting on a show over their enlightened outlook – but then not keeping their word – I have a poor opinion of. Those who laugh about subjects like rape as if it were a joke – or think it is “manly” to belittle a woman or undermine her self-esteem – you simply do not deserve anything. If it were up to me, I would take everything from you and leave you destitute – which you are – you are pathetic, ignorant cowards without conscience. If you continue in your ways, you will have no future life prospects at all.