12/04/2015 02:51 EST | Updated 12/04/2016 05:12 EST

This Poem Slams Gender Inequality

Portrait of adult on black background
Erik Von Weber via Getty Images
Portrait of adult on black background

I am so tired of doing so much work and your unfair pay

I am so shocked by your un-deterrent laws and sentences

I am so disgusted by your blind eyes

Looking the other way when you see them pushing us

We are beaten; we are burned, stabbed,

We are sold; we are raped, and killed

In times of peace and in times of war

We are powerless.

They have it all and they have us

We are the impoverished

We are the racially profiled

We are the stigmatized

We are the so-called mental health patients

When we disregard gender roles and rules

I am in such disbelief that you don't care

I speechless when you don't show up

Where are you when you hear us screaming?

Where are you when you see us beaten?

Where are you when we speak about harassment at work?

Where are you when our daughters are abused on dates?

Where are you when they call us names?

Where are you when they take our children away?

Where are you when they leave the courts free and inflict further harm upon us?

Where are you when the court orders are unobserved?

Where are you when one of us ends up in a wheelchair?

Where are you when one of us is disfigured?

Where are you when we are raped and gang-raped

In isolated cases or by masses?

Where are you when one of us is killed?

You even don't bring a flower or a card

As if our lives didn't matter at all

Shame on you!

You even don't write about us sometimes,

Yes we don't make it on the front pages most of the time

Especially when we are darker

And we certainly don't make it on your political agendas

My question is, where do we go from here?

Are we going to let you kill more and more of us?

Are we going to accept your failure to protect us?

Are we going to keep the accomplice's silence?

Are we going to be bound by this shame forever?

I don't think so, don't count on it!

No, I don't think so!

Get involved!

If you don't condemn it, you condone it.

If you don't denounce it, you reinforce it.

From now on,

We are coming out of the closet

Here we are: the survivors and current victims of all forms of violence against women

From now on we will fight back

With no bullets or bulletproof vests,

Without weapons or muscles like yours

We will fight back with our words, our songs, our lines, our peaceful demands

We will march on the streets and to the hills of power

Reclaiming our rights, fighting to change the laws

We will take back the homes, the streets, and the ministries

We were the invisible but from now on you will notice us

When one of us is hurt

We will walk the streets worldwide in Million Woman Marches

We will be in the courts when one of us is judged or misjudged

Worldwide, we will share the power with you

The power in homes, in schools and academia, in factories, in corporations, in parliaments, in courthouses, in ministries,

As the heads of states, in churches, in clubs, everywhere,

We want that power

We were the silenced, the unheard, but from now on we will come to the table of negotiations

We will scream louder if needed

We will knock on doors

We will bang on walls till you call 911

Have a good look at us; we are no longer your easy prey

We are visible, out of the closet

We are here, we survived, and we are alive

We are here, we are humans, and we deserve respect, justice and equal treatment

We are here, we are alive, we are strong, and we are still standing.

And we want to share the power... Equally.

Extract from "I Can Testify", p. 93, ©

Annie Kashamura Zawadi, 2007


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