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.