A Poem for Women’s Equality Day

Equality (film), a short film about gender equality

Did you know that August 26 is Women’s Equality Day in the United States?

It is a day to recognize the work of the people who helped secure women’s right to vote in the U.S. It is a momentous day to mark the full rights of women as American citizens. The title for the day began in 2004, in a proclamation released by George W. Bush, the U.S. President at that time.

While I am Canadian, I still celebrate the importance of the day. I also understand that women in North America and countries around the world still struggle for gender equality. The wage gap in the North American workplace is one example.

This poem is a tribute to the women who helped all U.S. women to achieve the right to vote. Here is to female empowerment, pride and future steps for gender equality.

Equality and Vision

Self-respecting we stand,
Where once we did hunch over
With guilt, second-prize ribbons and a
Countertop lined with ingredients to cook.

We stand tall in the glow of securing the
Right to vote, as we step toward visions of
Our equality with the muscular forces –
Let’s see the vision soon without wearing glasses,
Even within home walls where cameras do not go.

There is still work to do, as we strive for
Equal pay and we are haunted by the
Memories of physical and emotional abuse,
From past years, last months and this morning.

There are bodies that choose to chain us down.

We speak up louder with each day that passes,
Striving to reach a volume that cracks windows of
Disregard. We do not pass on opportunities to
Honor and represent the women who
Have brought us to the path we travel today.

We thank these women, we step into their footprints, and
We stretch the size of their shoes a little more with
Each day that passes.
I hope that we honor them well.

©2013 Christy Birmingham

An additional thank-you to Jem at Jem Farmer for the “word bank” prompts that also helped inspire me to write this poem.

Advertisements

74 thoughts on “A Poem for Women’s Equality Day

  1. Janine Huldie

    Absolutely beautiful and I remember how in awe of these women I were when I first was learning about them in school back when I was younger. You did a beautiful tribute to them here and thanks for sharing Christy. Have a wonderful Monday now!!

    Like

    Reply
  2. Sean Michael Kelly (@TheLdrshipGeek)

    Simply wonderful, my very dear friend! Know that you stand tall among those forging the way and leaving a legacy of hearts and minds touched by your gentle and sweet strength. Thank you for demonstrating leadership that serves and inspires others to follow your lead. My life is richer for having intersected paths along life’s journey. I look forward to seeing how great your impact will spread. I believe in you! Big huge “Leadership Geek” hugs and grins from me to you!

    Like

    Reply
      1. Christy Birmingham Post author

        Thanks, Sean, for pointing out the descriptors and metaphors here. Taking time to read the images I hope leaves people pondering how to narrow the gap that sadly still exists between the treatment of men vs women. Let’s keep moving forward, breaking windows of disregard…

        Like

        Reply
  3. filbio

    Another wonderful tribute post Christy. You really know how to convey the true meaning of something in a poem. Women should be treated as equals everywhere, and praised for the work they do.

    Like

    Reply
  4. Jem Farmer - Boi Poet

    I am honoured to have helped in some way to this Christy. Women’s rights, and human rights, are so important to me. I have ancestors who were part of the women’s suffrage movement here which secured women the vote in the UK. It really bothers me to see that being treated as if it is worthless by women today. Thank you for standing up against that with this wonderful poem.

    Much love
    Jem x

    Like

    Reply
  5. lscotthoughts

    This is such an awesome tribute, Christy, to all women and I love “we stretch the size of their shoes!” Let’s keep stretching and maybe someday there will be no more need to defend each other because we’ll all be equal…staying hopeful! ♥

    Like

    Reply
  6. Kitt Crescendo

    Oh, my…. I must have some serious egg on my face. I had no idea today was Womens Equality Day. I did know that today was National Dog Day, though. 😡 You did a fabulous job honoring the day.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      No egg on your face, dear friend. Every day celebrates something and it just so happened I chose to highlight this point on this particular day. Thank-you for your kind words on my post here.

      Like

      Reply
  7. Eric Alagan

    A great tribute to great women who pushed for a worthwhile cause.

    It’s a pity that some take it for granted for the simple reason that many movies subtly propagate the myth that women always enjoyed equal rights. I refer to the portrayal of women in period movies. Watching these movies, some would be deluded into thinking that women had equal everything since day one.

    Peace,
    Eric

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Eric,
      That’s a really good point that what we see in movies/TV of past times is not necessarily accurate. Often people take media images as being the ultimate truth and never question it (whether images of gender equality or other issues). It’s a little (or a lot) disturbing the way people passively view TV shows, the news and movies…

      Hugs, light and a peaceful day is what I wish for you today, Eric.

      Like

      Reply
  8. rollyachabot

    Hi Christy… well spoken as I was raised in a generation bare the rule seemed to be “Barefoot and Pregnant” and have seen the strides women have made to be acknowledged for the contributions the have made to society. There should be no division, some amazing and very capable women have held offices all across North American and proven themselves over and over.
    As for me I support the efforts through and through and all I can say is look out men you have well met your match. Keep up the fight ladies… well done girls…

    Hugs from Alberta

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thanks for stepping up with me to say ‘here’s to gender equality,’ Rolly. I appreciate that. Even women not in those high offices can act in a way that makes us proud, and carry on the fight to lower the divisions between how women and men are viewed in society.

      Like

      Reply
  9. Corrie Woerde

    DEAR CHRISTY,THANKS! WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIR FOOTPRINTS,THEY MUST BE KEPT VISUABLE FOREVER …
    AND ALSO THE FOOTPRINTS OF THEM WHO FIGHT FOR OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS, BECAUSE THERE’S STILL A LOT TO DO…. 😉

    Like

    Reply
  10. Aquileana

    >>>CHRISTY >>>

    This is a sort of politically engaged poem… my favorite lines are: “We speak up louder with each day that passe/ Striving to reach a volume that cracks windows of Disregard”.
    thanks for sharing these topics with us; CB.

    Just wanted to point some extra topics. In my country, Argentina the Recognition of Women’s Rights to Vote and to Stand for Election was achieved in 1947 and established as a right in The Constitution of 1949. Eva Perón was a great figure who made possible women´suffrage.

    In reference to women´s social/civil rights, the convention on women’s rights in America was the
    Seneca Falls Declaration” (dated 1848), a document based on the Declaration of Independence of the United States in denouncing the restrictions, especially political, to which they were subjected the women can not vote or stand for election, or hold public office or join political organizations or attend political meetings.

    In fact the International women day marked and celebrated on March 8 every year points to the roots of Seneca Falls Convention.

    >>>

    I am sending you these two related links

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/senecafalls.asp

    http://aquileana.wordpress.com/2008/03/08/a-proposito-del-dia-de-la-mujer-declaracion-de-seneca-falls-1848/

    >>>

    I wish you a great day ahead. XOXO;

    Aquileana 😉

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Amalia,
      Thank-you for sharing the important events in the history of your country of Argentina. Just a question.. You say 1947 in one paragraph and then later 1847 – which one is correct? I am curious as to how long the women’s voting rights have been in place in your country.

      I also like that line in the poem about the windows – so much can be seen in our reflections too…

      Hugs and love! x

      Like

      Reply
      1. Aquileana

        Christy;

        1847 doesn´t appear here … I didn´t mention it: Not guilty 🙂

        if you read it again you´ll see I have pointed above three dates.: 1947, 1949 (both for Argentina) & 1848 (For USA)

        >For Argentina:

        1) 1947 when women voted for first time in Argentina

        2) 1949 , (two years later) when women´s suffrage was legally established as a political right in The Reformed Constitution of 1949.

        >For United States:

        3) I refer to the FIRST convention on women’s rights, called Seneca Falls Declaration” which is dated 1848.

        Bottom line, in Argentina women ´s right to vote was achieved a hundred years after than in United States.

        Sending you tons of love; XO; CB!

        Aquileana 😉

        Like

        Reply
        1. Christy Birmingham Post author

          Oh! My mistake, thanks for pointing out the two places to which you mentioned. I didn’t realize that in one place you meant the US and in another place Argentina.

          Glad you set me straight!! Love to you! xo

          Like

  11. Sue Dreamwalker

    I didn’t know it was Equality Day, and you have done the day a great service with your wonderful contribution, Women still are so persecuted in so many places and every voice counts… Thank you
    Love to you
    Sue xox

    Like

    Reply
  12. Julie Catherine

    A powerful and empowering poem, dear Christy – well done, well said, and beautifully written! I love the lines about the window and the shoes also – awesome! xoxox

    Like

    Reply
  13. oldpoet56

    All people are suppose to be equal under the laws in our country, but we all know that the ladies have never been treated as our equals, and that is a shame.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thank you Jalal for the reminder that women still don’t have the right to vote in all countries. There is still much equality work to be done! You’re welcome for the ‘follow’ and so nice that you checked in here as well.

      Like

      Reply
  14. Maria F.

    Thanks for such inspiring poem. In my country (P.R.) we follow the U.S. customs and traditions for the most part. It’s because we are a commonwealth of the U.S..But still we are behind in the sense that many women still get pregnant when young, and don’t study to become professionals (this is more of a cultural issue). In the U.S., women are much more aware of studying careers than here.

    Like

    Reply
  15. Rajagopal

    Vibrant poem christy , what with all the images of ingredients-laden counter-top , voices growing louder to crack windows of disregard , fervent hope of desired visions without glasses and stepping into expanding shoe sizes…..a solidarity hug from me as you and your ilk commemorate the event….

    Like

    Reply
  16. PreciousRhymes

    Read this inspiring, touching and beautiful piece of work today dear Christy. Thanks for putting this out for the world. Got to keep doing our work for bringing awareness at all levels, for all of creation is deserving of profound respect, irrespective of the gender we take.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s