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II Poetry Contest: “You are so pretty”

by Alea Nesbit

Is that all you have to say?
If I hear you are pretty again
I believe my guts will begin to twist and
burn and the only way to save me from this torture is to cut them and let them spill out on the floor.

I’m tired of being pretty.
Cause pretty fades.
I rather hear how my words makes your heart tremble like the waves of an earthquake, where the fault line created from the impact of a conversation transpired from my lips will leave you forever changed & never the same.
I much rather hear how my presence entering a room is a megaton of energy that can set the whole earth vibrating like a bell.

Pretty is as pretty does.
But I rather be looked at as more.
I rather much be told that my very presence has the power to inspire a whole generation of warriors.

I rather hear how my love melts rocks like the sun, that it can cause the seas to dry up but yet harmless as a dove.

I rather hear how my passion is like a burning flame. Giving you a scar you proudly proclaim.

I want to hear how my smile encompasses the light of the world. Notice how I hold heaven in my spirit.

Tell me I belong amongst the wildflowers, because I freely bloom with petals for my feet, even when the season change I will always begin again.

If the words formed from your lips are your
so pretty, I rather much hear nothing at all.
Cause silence speaks louder then words sometimes.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and we all are more then just a pretty face

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II Poetry Contest: I love how she smiles, suppressing the hurt within.

by sprinkled_with_sass

I love how she kisses everyone else’s scars when she herself is bleeding.
I love how she flips her hair in confidence knowing she ‘got it’.
I love how she sees no limit to her abilities.
I love how she winks at any challenge bestowed upon her.
And without the might of a man she paints a life for herself to be proud about.
I see ‘her’ in each woman. Some of them still discovering, some valuing and some sadly demeaning.

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II Poetry Contest: For you, yes.. you.

by participant of School Poetry Competition in Bali

I don’t know how to start it, hmm..you know I have such a big big ego for saying something about you. You know, I always be (and will be always) complaining about your attitude, the way you treat, how I say that you can’t be romantic, cute, charming..rare to say adorable words..and…plain. But, somehow, I always miss you, you are always there..beside me, keep me safe, try to make me happy, give your anger just because you care. I’ve never got that from the others. You just do it. Never been busy about words. When I’m in difficult time, you are in front line, helping me. Can you just stay here until the rest of my life, hun?

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II Poetry Contest: Lady

To all the girls who prove that they are no less than men.

Don’t consider her weak
As she can shake the world under your feet..

She is a sister, she is a wife
She is the one who has given you life…

You insult her and call her by names
Trying to put her character in blame…

Don’t consider her powerless as she is quite
Coz when the time comes she can also fight..

And if breaks the limit of her tolerance
She will give answers to every violence..

Her shyness is her weakness is just a myth
coz if she turns into Kaali she can tear up your ribs…

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LGBT Pride Month

by Vanessa Daniela

Earth will be a better place once we treat everyone with respect. We support the LGBT community and stand against any kind of discrimination.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The riots were the mark of the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

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Nowadays, the celebrations attract millions of people from different ages around the World. The goal of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that this community have had in history worldwide.

However, according to the FBI, the LGBT people are the most likely targets of hate crimes in America.  L.G.B.T. people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans. It is time to change this scenario. We are all humans, and we all deserve respect. Don’t let your faith and/or culture violate the most sacred words: respect, peace, and love.

Source

@newyorktimesmagazine

@secretlyprettygay

@librarycongress

 

 

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II Poetry Contest: To the boy who sent me two messages, the first one saying, “It’s not my problem” and the second, “survival of the fittest.” In response to being asked about helping refugees.

By magicaldisco

Tell me how “fit” you really are.
Is it because you were able to strike a man in the head who held a sign that said, “People are refugees too?” while having people cheer you on, praise you, call you a savage, and saying you are ‘a real man.’

Or what about the time when the word started getting around and our football coach suspended you only for 5 games as a punishment and you bawled your eyes out?

Does it make you more fit that you were randomly born into a wealthy family? Is this what ‘survival of the fittest’ means to you? Is this why it’s ‘not your problem’ that a little girl is holding her deceased newborn brother in her arms drenched in blood? Why does green paper separate you from her?

Boy who has only ever known of trophies, if you are so pro-life and a worshipper of jesus, tell me, where did your compassion go? Was it left behind when you started to feel like something was pricking at the frailness of your masculinity? Did you feel the poking of a child crying for help, who you deem ‘not your problem’ when you were marching around with your other guy friends shouting, ‘Stop killing human beings!’ And by the way, Boy, who the fuck are you to tell me what I can do with my body?

I’m afraid that you reveal yourself a hypocrite and a coward.

Now, that is your problem; a problem that the rest of us have to deal with.

To the 5-year-old girls, who are continuously having the world root against them, as their schools burn down, and their houses blow up; you are not a problem, you are a solution to this world of people who lack compassion.

I’m sorry that this white American Boy believes you do not deserve a chance just because of where you are come from.

I see a photo of you smiling, as the buildings behind you collapse and cripple at the hands of nuisance.

You are my faith in humanity.

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Malala: Motivational Life Story

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by Vanessa Daniela
I was reading the book, “I am Malala,” last month. I was motivated to describe how I felt reading her book. It was an inspirational and profound life lesson for me; I believe it would be for many others. I do regret not reading it before now. Malala is an energetic and motivated woman. Her willingness to educate girls and boys around the World is Magnifique.

In the book, she describes her life in Valley of Swat in Pakistani and then in Birmingham, England. Malala’s father was a school teacher; she was considered lucky in her town for having such understanding and supportive father.

When I have gone thru difficult moments in my life, especially traumas that affected my learning abilities within different periods of my life, I was very distracted by things that were not adding to my education.

Fortunately, I did graduate from college, and I also acquired a master’s degree. However, I do feel that I am still catching up on subjects that I haven’t learned in the past. I deeply regret not reading more or learn everything that I could once I had the opportunity to do so and had fewer domestic and career responsibilities.

During the period of my life when I had fewer constraints on my time, I wish somebody like Malala would have shown me that far worse things can happen to us. However, that our motivation can take us anywhere and everywhere our dreams might lead us.

Nowadays, I have been watching documentaries, reading about war, paying attention to terrorism activities, and evaluating the need for more gender equality. I feel overwhelmed because there is so much violence degrading our World; it is hard to find the motivation I feel that I should have to fight human rights. However, I know in my heart that we cannot give up. Reading the book, “I am Malala,” was another reminder of that fact. We have to use our strengths to bring peace and equality to the World.

Let’s be brave like Malala! Do not let fear stop us from making our Earth a better place.

Malala’s Speech to UN Youth Takeover

Source: Their World

…The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.  I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.

Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorists group. I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child. I want education for the sons and the daughters of all the extremists especially the Taliban…

Honourable Secretary General, peace is necessary for education. In many parts of the world especially Pakistan and Afghanistan; terrorism, wars and conflicts stop children to go to their schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering in many parts of the world in many ways. In India, innocent and poor children are victims of child labour. Many schools have been destroyed in Nigeria. People in Afghanistan have been affected by the hurdles of extremism for decades. Young girls have to do domestic child labour and are forced to get married at early age. Poverty, ignorance, injustice, racism and the deprivation of basic rights are the main problems faced by both men and women…

…Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education for everyone. No one can stop us. We will speak for our rights and we will bring change through our voice. We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world…

…So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.

One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. 

Education is the only solution. Education First.

Image Source: Financial Times

 

 

 

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II Poetry Contest: March 8th – International Women’s Day

by D. Avery

Some women
Some women had their last treatment today
Some their first
Some were untreated.

Some had heart attacks, some died
Some lived.
Some women felt dead inside
Others felt vibrant and alive.

Baby girls were born today
borne of women become mothers
While others became aunts, mentors, friends.
Today, and yesterday, and tomorrow.
Some will feel joy, some will feel sorrow.

Some women were betrayed today
Some endured violence and pain
Fell down, got pushed around
Got up, tried again.

Women endured today.
Some were supported, some were supportive
Some felt hate, some were hated.
Some gave love, some were loved.

Around the world, women endure
Some fall ill, some rise cured
Some are able to feel the hope and the good
Of a worldwide sisterhood.

 

 

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II Poetry Contest: If you’d have taken the time…

by _bmgalloway

(Part 1)
If you’d have taken the time
to read the small print
in her eyes,
you would have known that
your hardware was not
compatible with her system.
Instead, you tried to make
it compatible and now
her system is broken,
her files corrupt.

(Part 2)
I have watched her almost
destroy her system in an
attempt to destroy the damage
that your hack caused.
She is not a machine,
she is a Woman.
One day her strength
will overwrite every file
that you corrupted.
Until then, she will increase
the font size of her small print
and scream every word
at the top of her voice.
She does not have to be polite.
She does not have to whisper.
She does not have to let you
log in whenever you wish.
She is not a machine,
she is a Woman.

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National Children’s Awareness Month

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Image: Festival of Children Foundation

by Mariana Laviaguerre

Not all children have the wonderful childhood we all hope to provide for our own children. Many children live in fear and neglect, and each year, approximately 3.3 million children experience some form of domestic violence. Therefore, June has been established as the National Children’s Awareness Month to increase awareness about the vulnerability of children exposed to violence.
..
Domestic violence is the single most important forerunner to child abuse and 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of partner abuse also abuse the children in the household. Child abuse may occur at any time between infancy and adolescence, and for every hour, as many as 115 children are abused.
..
Children who witness violent and abusive behavior in the home are the most likely individuals to become perpetrators of domestic violence in the future. Men who are exposed to domestic violence in childhood are twice as likely to abuse their own partner and children, while women experiencing abuse in childhood are more likely to become victims of domestic violence in the future.

 

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II Poetry Contest: Commodity

by Medha Khair

She was just a commodity .
She brought life into this world yet she was something that could be traded .
Her happiness , her views , her opinions were irrelevant .
Why ? You ask .
Well just because she had a vagina instead of a dick .
She was a slave .
She was only important when he wanted something , be it a glass of water or a child .
She was taught to adjust to his needs , to look after his happiness .
What of her own , well they weren’t important you see .
They say these things don’t happen no more .
Yet I watch it happen over and over again like someone hit the replay button way too many times .

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II Poetry Contest: Thinking of a voice all through an insomniac night

by @pragyaspenchant

Thinking of a voice all through an insomniac night,
Or living a moment, which makes entire arena bright;
Melody the soul sings,
Or music to which heart clings;
Expression of words extraordinaire,
Or sentences that express a desire;
Silent eyes, that tell stories,
Or depth of heart that cherishes memories;
Someone, whose name makes you smile,
Or someone, who has made your existence fragile;
Something from which we always try to escape,
Or the dreaded mistake all make;
Something that’s enough with silence,
Or someone who’s worth a response;
When millions of such questions club,
Maybe, that’s what we call love?

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II Poetry Contest: Leave her be

by L.L. Lynch

There is a wild flower in a field
And in the breeze she called to me
So strong and tall up to my knees
But all alone amongst the weeds.

Her buds, they bloom like butterflies
From tight cocoons towards the skies
Each one, a different lullaby
That she has sung into the night.

Standing lonely in the shade
Afraid one day you pass her way
And foolishly think she needs to be saved
Plucking her wild roots all up and away.

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II Poetry Contest: Once

by  L.L. Lynch

I was free once-
Back when we were making memories we didn’t know were memories.
Back when my hair was long and wild, just like our summer nights and my dreamy life.
Driving around in the dark with the windows down, looking for sprinklers to jump through until we were soaking wet and our t-shirts were as transparent as my eyes for you, the day we met.
We’d finally drive home and run from one apartment to the next; out the hall and down the steps; walking in unannounced because, that’s what real friends do.
The movie nights with all the oldies who sometimes brought the someone new
With charming smiles and an instant connection; soaking wet and transparent, from that very, very first moment. I was free once. Dancing in our pretend rain; playing out our pretend family game; and in my lucid dreams I choose to go back there again and again.

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II Poetry Contest: The Blue, The Moon, The Stars & I

by L.L. Lynch

The blue, the moon, the stars and I
All in the dark we do reside
Our faces bright as mountain sides
Whose flesh is clothed like virgin brides.

Constant as the tides we are
Both high and low and near and far
Deceptively strong yet weak and starved
Like ballerinas at the barre

We exist for you both more and less
Until you lose all interest
And then you’ll watch with baited breath

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II Poetry Contest: Nirbhaya

by To every girl who has faced physical and sexual violence like rapes

Do you remember
that night of December
when I shouted and cried in pain
but all my efforts went in vain…
You molested me and played me like a toy
and did all this just for your joy….
Didn’t the rakhis on your wrists remind…
That you had sisters at home and still you were so unkind…
In order to prove how manly you were
you have put a spot of shame on the face of every individual….
Was being a girl was the fault I did?
That in the moving bus I was assaulted…
And that act was such a shame
that it defamed every man’s name…
And now every girl questions her security needs
As in the faces of humans there are so many beasts….

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II Poetry Contest: I am a human

by Chirayuwriter

Not you are killer madam who kills you daily From an “Evil minded to the Scornful Brain” more over harsh through physical action on a body to the Mentally visual trauma which smears a beautiful skin,
I’m a human from a humane world not from so called “nauseating mankind.
Who forget before restricting or belittling a thing in a life or ruling on it because it’s not only a child, girl, woman, but a life where everyone suffers one day in a context to understand the concept is ”
say no” it’s enough to say no to the things which are wrong as you are facing in your life or from mindless peoples, especially a prick touches you from your love one’s “say no”
to the things which are out of your control,
no more “racism”,
no more “sacrifice”,
no more “tears”,
no more ” Compromise ”
no more “depression” and
say no to “insomniac” as
well those torment
which are life long given by someone to you or anything which is an incommunicable disease makes you a patient of over thinking.
“Say no” to “Don’t stare at me”.

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II Poetry Contest: My Mom

by Arshiya Hussain

You made me into who I am from who I was,
Without demanding for any applause.
Sacrificing your own comfort and luxury,
You stood beside me during my every injury.
Alone you struggled for even my smallest happiness,
I wonder how should I thank you YOUR HIGHNESS.

You took my care with such grace and pride,
I really feel blessed to be your child.
You’ve been my shelter in every storm,
Cared for my sickness all night long.
You’re the biggest inspiration in my life,
You did all my work and didn’t even let me hold a knife.
Doesn’t matter what I loose
You’re my most important gain,
You’re the best medicine of my every pain.
You’re my strength when I’m weak,
You become my voice when I couldn’t speak.
I promise to never leave you alone,
Proving that we’re two bodies and one soul.

And when the angel of death will arrive,
I’ll book my ticket along you giving her a little bribe.
I can’t imagine my world without you,
Then I’d become a mystery without any clue,
Because incomplete to each other
You’re my sun and I’m your moon.

You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever come across,
And if we have a bet with God
I want to win you in my every toss.
I pray destiny wouldn’t ever do us apart,
‘Cuz mommy you’re my world
And you will always be in my heart.

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II Poetry Contest: Woman

by Vinita Agrawal

Like a plastic palmyra showcased at the front door
A rag doll – gloved, thumb-printed, buttressed
bruised, soughed, oboe-d
and at the end of it all – grey like the ash of a rose.

Rabbit-like. Fearful, frightened.
Babbling, burbling, dripping
scurrying, stumbling, succumbing
until reduced to a sobbing choir of broken hummingbirds.

She is his color-card for abuse
one shade for every kind;
to rape, demean, curb, thrash, burn, mutilate, violate, intimidate,
a fertile ground for the plough of his madness.

She is no one. She is nothing.
She is dry yellow grass, an invasive weed
sawdust, thorn, nettle.
an abandoned trellis on which he pegs his evils.

But really, she is none of these.
She is a cause to be fought for in her own voice.
Though sandpapered by scars of a thousand hard years
her resilience is still intact.

Woman – she shines in a light of her own – ever evolving
weaving a special bond with her sisterhood
no veil, no hijab, no purdah can conceal her strength
nothing can keep her down.

She is Ma Durga, Ma Kali, Ling Bhairavi
Jwala, Amba, Bhavani
the fierce rider of tigers, spewer of fire
killer of demons, drinker of blood.

She is the twin of every aspect that exists in the universe
the half of the whole called man
She is Shakti. The bearer of souls.
Because of her man exists.

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II Poetry Contest: Second Place

by Rahmat, a 300lvl student of Adult Education

I’m a woman, in pride and honour I glow
In power and motivation I flow
In love and affection I drown for the prince of my heart
A golden heart he had with a charming apparition
His display of humanity and integrity gave more hope of security to my soul.
The luckiest woman I ever thought I was
The king of my heart I got married to and in his castle of love, i lived
The beast of my heart he became after a hard hit on my face
A mistake he confessed it was
My generous heart could not hold a brief of forgiveness
In his stronghold i lived till my innocent soul survived a coma after another domestic abuse
I thought he could be forgiven after a whole lots of plead and care till I realized that I’ve been paralysed
I screamed to voice out but his threat held me back
Oh my pride, my integrity, my honour and all vanished!
My dignity wept at the present of His apparition as his threat keep warning me never to voice out
I was left with no choice to as I crave to be the woman I used to be
My voice was heard at the hospital bed and my freedom untied
And then I became the woman I used to be

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II Poetry Contest-Second Place: Sacrifice

by Paris Holmes

Utilizing OUR bodies to carry and give life.
Sometimes giving up dreams to focus on being an amazing mother or wife.
Replacing OUR last name with trust.
Sacrifice is strength which is implanted in US.
STRENGTH
The amount WE have to love repeatedly, even after abuse.
The necessary roles WE fill or even the ones WE don’t choose .
The strength WE contain to do what it takes to provide for OUR own, when force to be alone, or to survive.
Strength is consistently permanent within US.
Love gives US an undeniable drive.
LOVE
Uncontrollably seeping through OUR hearts.
Subconsciously giving a piece of OURSELVES to love as hard as WE can.
Even during moments that are unplanned.
WE are the absolute definition of essential.
Plethora of possibilities to offer in life.
Way beyond potential.
Because WE are resilient, OUR need on this earth is a must.
To show men, boys, and especially little girls what it’s like to be amazing creatures like US.

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II Poetry Contest: First place

by Jen Liz

See nothing can stop her now
She finally knows her worth
Fulfilled & heavy with self-love
she treads ever so lightly on this earth

She’s come all this way
& She refuses to stop now
She made a promise to herself
Her most powerful vow.

Because a woman’s promise is way more than just that
It’s her soul pouring words
She engraves forever on her heart like a tat

So understand this…
A strong woman cannot be shaken
For she is like the ocean
No matter what; it can’t be taken.

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II Poetry Contest: The Winners

poetrycontest Dear Participants,

I want to thank you one more time for participating in the contest. We got submissions from different parts of the World, and we are very happy for reaching women and girls in urban and rural areas of Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and Americas.

 

You should be proud of speaking up about your feelings, your life, and our rights. Making the society aware that every minute a woman is disrespected, violated, and abused.

 

Art is a tool for us. By expressing our traumas and thoughts into written words and/or visual arts we are translating the pain, and demanding changes.

 

I read and re-read every single poem. Some of them made me cry, others made me happy and stronger. I wish I could give everyone the first prize. Please consider yourself a winner. Congratulations to everyone!!!

I sent an e-mail to all of you explaining that was very hard to pick only one.  I made the decision to award three poems according to the judges and then finally my vote. 

I have the honor to congratulate:

First place (judges’ votes): Jen Liz “See nothing can stop her now” 

The poem will be posted tomorrow 5/15.

Second place (judges’ votes and my vote):

Paris Holmes “Sacrifice”

The poem will be posted Tuesday 5/16.

 

Rahmat, a 300lvl student of Adult Education “I’m a woman, in pride and honour I glow” 

The poem will be posted Wednesday 5/17.

Thank you for your touching words!!

Congratulations to all of you!!

Inspire for a better life!!

Love,

Vanessa Daniela

 

 

 

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II Poetry Contest: The beggar’s child

by robbiesinspiration

At the traffic light she stands;
On her back, a small boy;
His eyes round; deep black;
In a wizen face, bereft of joy.

What thoughts cross his mind?
As he observes in his childish way;
The endless traffic that passes by;
Throughout each and every long day.

Their well-fed occupants flash by;
Their faces just at his line of sight;
What feelings in him are aroused?
As they ignore his desperate plight.

Does it make him feel invisible?
Unwelcome in this troublesome life;
Does it develop into feelings of despair?
As their complacency cuts like a knife.

The cards he has been dealt, provide;
few opportunities to improve and learn;
How frustrating to watch the world pass by;
Knowing it will never be your turn.

If we want to see real change and difference;
We must start to recognise and right;
The casualties of poverty and indifference;
Even if our individual contribution is slight.

 

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II Poetry Contest: Strong (A poem for Woman)

by Charis Ayuk

I am the spring that waters,
the wind that blows,
the air that fans the hearth –
raising the fire to life

It is in me you plant
the seeds of life
that I water
It is the best of me
I bring forth
at every harvest

I am the crashing waves,
the burning sun,
the glowing moon –
that speaks to you;
telling you of my fears and frustrations
sharing my joys and sorrows…
Only if you are worthy.

I am capable –
if you give me a chance
Or if not,
I make my own

I am here to prove nothing
Yet, I prove my worth
again and again…

I am strong –
not because of you
But because
it is all I can be…

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II Poetry Contest: Ferocious Women

by Brenda Davis Harsham

Ferocious Women
who never bring you coffee
dream in poetry

warm art in their core
climb like smoke from a fire
leave a wild song

stir alive
wizards and wolves
in a rush of green and gold and gray

weather awful times
shake-awake the world to good
wear their stories with a smile

eat masks, drip truth,
radical truth,
(I do not exaggerate)

find joy in life
moments to intertwine
connect, concentrate

make a ferocious dinner
drink the wind in exaltation
save softness for dessert

Ferocious Women
storm in words that endure,
fearless

 

 

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Female Poets Expedition Series – Brazil

This week’s female poet is from Brazil. 

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Cecilia Meireles was a Brazilian poet part of the Brazilian Modernism movement. She was orphan by the age of 3 and was raised by her grandmother. Cecilia started writing poems when she was 9 years old and later dedicated her studies to primary education. Her first book, “Espectros,” was published in 1919.

During her career, Cecilia participated in conferences and symposiums around the World. She thought literature at the University of Texas and also earned the Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of India.

Meireles promoted educational reform and the construction of children’s libraries in Brazil.


Motive

I sing because the moment exists
and my life is complete.
I am not happy nor sad;
I am a poet.
Brother of the ephemeral
I do not feel joy nor agony.
I cross nights and days
in the wind.
Whether I break down or build up,
whether I stay or disperse,
-I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t know if I stay
or walk away.
I do know that I sing. And the song is everything.
It has the eternal blood of a rhythmic wing.
One day I know I will be mute:
-nothing more
Indeed, there are lots of great female poets in Brazil. Let us know your favorite one.
Source Image – Revista Bula
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Female Poets Expedition Series – India

 

lg113_-973092265_PThis week’s female poet is from India.

Kamala Surayya / Suraiyya also known as Kamala Das was a major Indian English poet. Even though she was born in an aristocratic family and was educated, Kamala went thru an arranged marriage at the age of 15. Madhavikutty – “the child-wife of Madhava,” her pen name, started publishing stories at the early age and used her pen name to avoid family conflicts. Around that time, she also started writing poems in English.

Kamala Das spoke up about racism, sexuality, and women’s rights in India. The Descendants is one of her most famous poetry books.

 


Someone Else’s 

I am a million, million people
Talking all at once, with voices
Raised in clamour, like maids
At village-wells.

I am a million, million deaths
Pox-clustered, each a drying seed
Someday to be shed, to grow for
Someone else, a memory.

I am a million, million births
Flushed with triumphant blood, each a growing
Thing that thrusts its long-nailed hands
To scar the hollow air.

I am a million, million silences
Strung like crystal beads
Onto someone else’s
Song.

Indeed, there are lots of great female poets in India. Let us know your favorite one.

Source image: My Poetic Side

 

 

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Female Poets Expedition Series

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Poetry is an art of expression thru words. It is a way to tell our stories, our feelings, and our opinions about a subject. A poem introduces children to poetry and can help them to develop writing and art skills. Besides, poetry can assist people to overcome traumatic experiences. For these reasons, our project encourages girls and women to engage in Poetry.

Promoting poetry contests in our blog inspires females of any age. Knowing about other female poets around the World give us the support and the motivation to be brave.

Our series “Female Poets Expedition” invite you to embark on a journey and experience the World thru words. Giving all of us – women knowledge and motivation to write messages to change the way that society sees and treats us.

Female Poets Expedition will have a post every Thursday on our main page.

Our first stop is India… See you tomorrow!

Source Image: http://eastendlocal.com/event/poetry-around-the-world/

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STD AWARENESS MONTH: KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN

by Mariana Laviaguerre

During 2014-2015, #syphilis rates increased in every region, a majority of age groups, and across almost every race/ethnicity. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (#STD) that can have very serious complications when left untreated. Without appropriate treatment, long- term infection can result in several medical problems affecting the heart, brain, and other organs of the body.

Learn more by visiting the STD Awareness Month website: http://www.cdc.gov/std/sam/

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NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

by Mariana Laviaguerre


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If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or if you are a child who is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so professionals can assess the situation. Many States have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse or neglect. To find out where to call, visit childwelfare.gov

Childhelp® is a national organization that provides crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline external links staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergencies, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous.

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Putting up with spit up

I was walking on 14th Street in New York around 6:30 pm on Tuesday. Thinking about my son’s birthday part and having thoughts filled with joy about the entire celebration.  Suddenly, I heard somebody spitting up, in less than a second, I felt a disgusting substance on my eye.  A handle guy spat upon my eye.  He kept walking like nothing happened. I was not sure whether he did on purpose or not because he just ignored his inappropriate behavior.

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Source Image: Jason Smith

He looked like a homeless, and I had various reactions and thoughts. I did curse, but he did not hear. I wanted to chase and hit him, but violence generates violence. So, I searched for cops, and I did not find any. Finally, I gave up and took the train thinking about the situation.

It was impolite, and for sure it is was unacceptable behavior. However, I was glad that was only a spit. Sadly, I thought about women’s and children that are victims of an acid attack in many countries in South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the West Indies and the Middle East.

Most of the cases are unreported, and the victims are scared inside and outside for the rest of their lives. This issue is something that needs to be discussed intensely in a separate article, but I guess some situations happen to be analyzed further later on.

Even though the spit up was disrespectful, I was able to overcome the situation by putting myself on somebody else shoes.

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STD AWARENESS MONTH

by Mariana Laviaguerre 

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Once nearing elimination, national data find that syphilis is now thriving. Reported cases and rates for primary and secondary syphilis are at a 20-year high. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men face continuously high and rising rates of the disease. Rates are also on the rise among women, multiple age groups, all regions, and among almost every race/ethnicity. Syphilis’s resurgence highlights its ability to affect many communities at anytime and anywhere. We cannot accept this as the new normal, and together, we can and must reverse these increases.
Learn more by visiting the STD Awareness Month website:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/sam/

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Women of Influence Series

by Vanessa Daniela

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Women of Influence is the ten episode series brought by B&H, with the support of  Canon and Sony, premiered on International Women’s Day. Each episode interviews remarkable women that face their challenges in photographic and filmmaking career. It talks about their challenges in building their career and how they grounded their roots in this competitive industry.

The series can be found on B&H website and on Youtube.

 

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Gender Equality Month

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by Mariana Laviaguerre

Around the World, 63 million girls are currently out of school – that is almost the same size as the entire population of UK. Even if a girl does make it to primary education, the drop-out rate before she reaches secondary school is steep. The majority of girls in Sub-Saharan Africa do not complete their secondary education. The impact this has on their lives can be devastating. Girls who do not complete school are not only more likely to live in extreme poverty, they also miss out on the vital knowledge that affects all areas of life – from how to protect their sexual health to how to defend their own human rights. For example, one study found that non-literate women were four times more likely to believe HIV could not be prevented.

Without an education, any girl would struggle to protect herself and fully take control in her future.

Photo credit: Erick McGregor/Pacific/Barcroft

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Black Women’s Empowerment: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe

 

by Vanessa Daniela

Last Saturday, I decided to go to Story Time with my son at the Word Bookstore in Jersey City.  I did not have time to look at the schedule to see which book or author would be reading.

My son is very young, so I am just trying to get he used to read books and listen to knowledgeable writers. Indeed, I am hoping that he will enjoy reading books about diversity, race, culture, art, etc…Anything that will make him open minded, kind and respectful to everyone.

When I got at the bookstore, the cover and the name caught my attention, Fancy Party Gowns, by Deborah Blumenthal. Even though, I knew it my son would not pay attention I decided to stay.

Surprisingly, he sat in my lap, and we listened to the story, and I could enjoy the meaningful and sad story of Ann Cole Lowe. An African American stylist that barely recognized for her work. Her most famous dresses were the Jackeline Kennedy’s wedding dress and Olivia de Havilland’s dress at the Oscars when she won for the Best Actress in To Each His Own.

I believe that her story is important for any girl especially for those classified as the minority. We must continue our journey of pursuing our dreams ignoring the Society label.

 

 

 

 

 

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Women’s Day: HEFORSHE Press Launch

 

Hi Everyone,

I started my day at the HEFORSHE Press Launch at the Lincoln Center this morning. The event kicked off the HeForShe Arts Week that is happening in different towns in the World, (NYC, London, Paris, Madrid, Bangkok, Santiago do Chile, Sao Paulo, and Panama City), from March 8th to 15th. The Arts Week aims at raising awareness and funding for gender equality through the arts.

Also, I had the opportunity to hear UN and local leaders, and film starts talking about Gender Equality. Efficiently they presented statistics about women in the workforce and their hopes, and goals to fix inequality in the workplace. In NYC, eliminating the wage gap in all boroughs is one of the top priorities mentioned by Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City.

Listening to motivated voices opened my mind to new ideas. Indeed,  I am on the write path by bringing awareness to gender equality thru media and art. “The Arts give us license to experience something new, to express ourselves, and to openly question our culture.” – Emma Watson, Actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador

Please feel free to share your ideas with us. We are here for you.

Enjoy your day!!

Vanesa Daniela

Please find the list of speakers:

Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City

Bjarni Benediktsson, His Excellency, Prime Minister of Iceland & HeForShe IMPACT Champion.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

Édgar Ramírez, Actor & UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

Jill Kaplan, Publisher and Vice President, Crain’s New York Business Chair, Women’s Leadership Council, Lincoln Center Corporate Fund

Grace McLean, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award winner

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater

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via Tragedy to Triumph: How sewing lessons are changing the lives of women with fistula — Girls’ Globe

Written by Samantha Bossalini, Development and Communications Associate The city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is anything but quiet. An increasingly modern metropolis overlooking the Indian Ocean, Dar is home to 4.4 million people, and is one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent. It’s a cacophony of noises, sounds, colors, and smells; […]

via Tragedy to Triumph: How sewing lessons are changing the lives of women with fistula — Girls’ Globe

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Photo Contest: Rules and Prizes

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Image Source: NewSD.

Entry Rules

  1. Women and Girls of any age.
  2. Minors under 18 are eligible with parents consent.
  3.  The participant can live in any country in the World as long as the entrant has access to Paypal to receive the prize.
  4. Must be your own original work.
  5. The photographer(s) must be the author(s) of the pictures submitted in her name.
  6. All the pictures are going to be posted on our website and our social media channels

Themes

The participant can choose any theme listed below

  1. Women’s Rights
  2. Self- Harm Awareness
  3. Gender Equality
  4. Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Submission

  1. The entrant must submit the form below.
  2. Should submit images have more than one individual to be credited, the names must be provided on the entry form.
  3. The participant can send up to 3 pictures with the theme and description to weareallthesameproject@gmail.com by March 31st.
  4. Photos must be submitted in either jpg file formats and not exceed 1gb per entry.

Prizes 

First Place: U$50.00 +Photography Magazine Subscription (Photo Pro, Popular Photography or Digital Photography)

Second Place: U$25.00 +Photography Magazine Subscription (Photo Pro, Popular Photography or Digital Photography)

Entry Deadline

All pictures must be received by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on March 31st.

Judging

  1. First place will be judged by professionals invited by We Are All The Same Project.
  2. Second place will be selected by the public. The photo that receives more votes on the website and/or social media.
  3. The participant can share the link on their own blog and/or social media channels so they can increase their chance of winning the second place.
  4. The results will be posted on the website by April 15th.
  5. Only the winners are going to be contacted by our commission.
  6. All the pictures are going to be published, on the We Are All The Same Project website and on the social media channels, with the credit provided by the participant.

By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted Photograph and Description are original works created solely by the entrant and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Photograph or the Description.

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Women’s History Month: Photo Contest

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Most of the countries around the globe celebrate Women’s History Month in March. It is a unique month that also brings awareness to Women’s Rights, Self- Harm, Gender Equality, and Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In appreciation of each action, We Are All The Same Project is promoting our First Photography Contest that will take place on our website after March 5th.

Click here for more info about the contest.

Help us spread the word about Women’s Rights, Race and Gender Equality.

Inspire kindness and love.

Image Source: Pedro Quintela 

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via Raising Awareness of Menstruation and Sustainability in India — Girls’ Globe

During a visit to Auroville, India a couple of days ago I was happy to have the opportunity to chat briefly with Eco Femme co-founder Kathy Walkling in between customers at their busy stall at the market. I had already heard about Eco Femme before I came to India and I was exited to meet the […]

via Raising Awareness of Menstruation and Sustainability in India — Girls’ Globe

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Poetry Contest: Warrior Goddess Arising

by Shaquana Gardner

Swift like a lion upon prey

Grounded like the gravity of my ME

An awakening has arisen inside of me

My whisper has grown into a RAW, decisively

I am expanding tenfold, righteously

The bulb within me is working, precisely

I am awake

ALIVE

Back like the Queen of the Damned

I am ARISEN

The Goddess of my soul

The Warrior of my Being

The SheShe of my BeMe

Is

ARISEN

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Poetry Contest: What Happened to Sarah?

By Liz Leighton

She was like an expensive dog:
An elaborate pedigree
Paired with a high-strung demeanor
That intensified with age

Upon a senseless flight of fancy
I looked up her death date on Wikipedia

Why?

To see if her spirit had flown from her body
Into that of my unborn daughter
So that they may be one

No such luck

I was probably some babbling termagant in my last life

Do you think he did it?

Somebody did it.

But do you think he did it?

I don’t know

She said he did it

He said he didn’t do it

To disbelieve would be a betrayal

I don’t think he did it

But she would know better than I

God stands on the scaffolding of Heaven
But does not deign to look at his mess below

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Poetry Contest: I Do This Because I Don’t Think I Can

by Ally Iseman

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because sometimes I wake up and can’t even stand,
But I do get up and I brush my teeth,
Because you never know who you might meet,
Or what opportunities will present themselves,
Or what ideas you might take off the shelves.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because I always thought that I needed a man,
To thrive,
But that was just a lie.
And now I’m finding out what it takes to fly.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because the unknown is all that I have in my hand.
My success is found in the actions I take.
It hides just beyond the limits I break,
From within,
Or created outside.
No barrier I meet is a reason to hide,
My greatness.
My rhythm and soul,
Will breakthrough whatever cages my goal.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
To inspire my sisters to be more than a fan,
To walk through the fire created by fears,
So that the rest of their lives will be made up of years,
Of joy,
Of freedom and zest,
For the very best thing that they have left.
The best,
Of themselves in the light.
Empowered by action,
Their dreams taking flight.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because carrying my shame seemed like more of a plan.
A cautionary tale of survival,
That I forfeited in order to stage a revival,
Of my life,
My self and my passion,
Which are flowering now in a very full fashion.
I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because knowing our worth involves creating a ban,
On the vampires,
Who drain out our light,
Just as our dreams are about to take flight.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because I have no other option than to now take a stand,
For myself,
For my voice and my art,
For without those things I was falling apart,
At the seams,
I lost all of myself.
And regaining that will take far more than wealth.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because proving me wrong will allow me to land,
On the truth,
That has always been there,
Lying in front of me naked and bare.
That I’m powerful,
And graceful and strong,
And accepting those facts couldn’t be further from wrong.

I do this because I don’t think I can.
Because the Creative Force in me is breaking the damn,
Built by doubts,
And lies and self hate.
The river is rushing I can no longer wait,
To reveal,
What I know to be true:
I do this because I know you can too.

The Root of Cause — The Issue With Violence Against Women and Girls

Violence against women and girls is an issue not only nationwide but globally, and has been an issue for many years. This issue is a huge problem for women across the globe. The number of ways that women have experienced violence would put someone at a loss for words. But, what is the cause of […]

via The Root of Cause — The Issue With Violence Against Women and Girls