“Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: When their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices are heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.” Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation President & CEO
They come like thistle and thorn,
and write their rage upon my body.
They come like locusts and
feed on the fields of my soul.
Like an angry storm, they drown me.
Like the desert sands, they sufficate me.
They see me, a little person of
little consequence …
Just a trinket, a toy, a receptical.
Something to sell, buy, and trade …
– But hear me –
I am the answer.
I am the calm after the storm.
I am the antidote to your stone heart
and desiccated soul.
I am the future, the present, the past.
I am the hope, the dream, the reality.
I am authentic.
I am human.
I am the answer.
~ As the women go, so goes the world ~
“There are more than 500 million adolescent girls living in the developing world today. Every one of them can potentially help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, with ripple effects multiplying across her society.” Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
In November 2010, I wrote I Am the Answer for a Universal Children’s Day event sponsored by UNICEF. It’s not that men don’t make constructive contributions. It’s not that boys and men don’t suffer. It’s just that we’ve seen what a difference it makes in the lives of all children and the grown-ups they become – no matter the gender – when women are respected, educated, and not forced into marriage. What difference would it make if women and girls were not looked down upon within their cultures, religions, the workplace, and government? What difference would it make in the world if girls were always and everywhere seen as fully human?
© 2010, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day and The BeZine); illustration courtesy of Mohamed Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan, Public Domain Pictures.net