Twenty-seven-year old spoken word artist Mathew Dawson, (MDthepoet), wrote this poem because he feels that gender inequality is an issue that needs coverage and discussion. His sentiments are relevant to all people, everywhere, but perhaps they have particular resonance for Afghan women and Mathew is happy for us to share this poem on their behalf:
I am a feminist,
I know a lot of you probably just raised your eye brows, But after I browsed . . . .and searched, for a definition, I realised you lot were tripping,
Because the word Feminist actually means: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes,
Why is that so insane, the thought of us being the same?? I don’t get it?
See I’m here to tell you 2things
One, The world is like a bird, with 2 wings,
Two, One of these wings is men and the other is women, and until these wings are streamlined then society will keep on winging,
How best we nurture our talents, because unless these wings are balanced,
We are gonna fly lopsided, see with one closed eyelid, but if we become united, we’ll fly straight and up towards a better civilization, because putting down one half of our race is not optimisisation, It’s stupid!
See I reached out, to a number of my close female friends, and asked them, I asked
What’s it like, what’s it like to be a women, when you have dreams of pursuing, something society doesn’t believe you should be doing, and I learnt that we are not far from ruin.
Because every single one of them told me that that they feel like they are not judged on their brains and things, like ability, instead they are judged on their looks and their likeability.
We need to change this,
Instead of looking at our women based on their features, we need to look at our women and think how can they feature,
Instead of men killing females in honour killings, we should honour women, these are more than just the mothers of our children,
Instead of countries banning women from the right to drive, we should encourage our women to have courage, ambition and drive,
Instead of banning our women from an education because of their gender, we need to help women become a bigger part of the worlds agenda,
I love that word – Instead, It Carries Hope, Something that’s in men and women both,
SO Instead of me doing nothing, I’m here to fight the cause for our women, they say chivalry is dead, we need to open doors for our women,
This persistent denial of equality to one-half of the worlds population is an insult to human dignity.
It allows for destructive attitudes and the harbouring of misery, misery that transfers to the workplace, family at home and international relations around the globe.
On no grounds, moral, biological, or traditional can inequality be justifiable, the time is now, is undeniable, the time is now to speak up and make a difference, because we’ll never get peace on earth till we make peace with our women
– MD the poet