According to the World Health Organization, one in three women will experience gender-based violence in her lifetime. This is a staggering statistic, and it’s time to start speaking out about it and make a change. Below are a few poems which speak against GBV.
Each poem tells a unique story, but they all share a common message: that we must work together to create a world free from violence.
Tear down the anger in your hearts
Put on a robe of peace and love
Wear a smile in whatever you do
Remove jealousy from your thoughts
Polish your heart with the best love herbs
Sit down with your partner
And cherish the absence of violence
Respect each other’s individuality
Hurtful words are as violent as a hail of fists
Black eyes and broken ribs are never a sign of love
Too much expectation is never a sign of love
Reckless invasion of privacy is never a sign of love
Insecurity is never a sign of love
Caring is a sign of love
Respect is a sign of love
Love has no burden
Love has no pain
Love is a beautiful existence
Say ‘No’ to gender based violence
Zakalia G Longwe Jr
End Gender Based Violence
Gentlemen banish violence,
We have been stung by the scorpion of bad luck,
The sorrow destroys our intellectual,
It is the struggle of day by day,
The thing we need to change because it complicates our way,
Disputes must not be settled with fights,
Besides, we all have the right to protection against unfair treatment.
GBV is a challenge to our world today,
Brings about demoralizing and long lasting kick in the teeth,
Storm of fire and a life changing tragedy,
Disproportionately affects our economy,
Spits poison, talks to us in threats and builds fear,
Strikes on us a blow of misfortune,
Passes a cycle of scarcity, deprived wellbeing and lack of culture to the minors.
Women in this act are as helpless as a pangolin in the wild,
Not because they are weak,
But because they are neglected of the right to be strong,
As if men never do anything wrong,
Women are being under ill treatment,
Put in state of illiberal,
Like they are illicit,
As a nation we have to stand for their rights,
We shouldn’t rest even a single night,
To arrange for our nation a future that is bright.
Voice Of The Silent Man
By Thobo Tomeletso
I row and I row with a silent voice … voice of a silent man
Thunderstorm! Storm! and Lightning!
Cutting thoroughly through throats of ruffled families
Families of a mother
Families of a father
Silent voice of the Man
Fathers are no more fathers but feathers
Yes feathers to wipe the dust, dust due to unemployment
Unemployment is no empowerment so don’t undermine
A poor man who is to be a man to maintain a mandate to be a man
Voice of a silent man
From Human to Human and humiliation
Dishonesty Disorder to Destruction
Destruction to Deformation
Voice of the silent man
Make her not a punching bag Rather buy yourself a punching bag
No Woman No Human No Child is your punching bag
Gender equality is not gender inequality
Listen! The Silent Voice of a Baby crying
Babies are not substitute for baby mamas
React! Respond! Respect! Retrospect! And Be Responsible,
Yes, I’m talking Remedy to Rectify and End Gender Based Violence
Gender inequality is no base of comfort
The Time Is Now …… Now is the Time
Voice of a Silent man! Yes! Voice of a Silent Man
By Wadia Samadi
I wake up every morning scheming my escape
But what about my children?
Who will believe me?
Who will give me a home?
Years go by and I am still waiting
When will this end?
My makeup does not cover my bruised face
My smile does not hide my haggard visage
Yet, no one comes to help
They say: it will get better
They say: don’t talk about it
They say: this was my fate
They say: a woman must tolerate
Don’t air your dirty laundry, they say.
When will this end?
Once again, he drags my body to the floor
He chokes me and I beg him not to kill me
Once again, he demands my silence
Once again, he tells me I don’t deserve to live
I have had enough
I will not be silent
I will live
I will find freedom
This will end today.
They Have Killed Sizakele
By Jessica Horn
For Sizakele Sigasa, AIDS and lesbian activist, murdered with
Salome Massoa, 7 July 2007, Soweto
Where is she
in this land of crushed stone?
Where is she
as morning dresses the day
in the dirtied lace of tired gospels
Where is she
our sister Sizakele
in this brittle dawn?
White powdered faces
ululate against an unremarkable sky
as bullets tip the minute hand
…one, two, three…
…four, ﬁve, six…
Here where sun chases starlight
here in heartbreak’s wilderness
here she is
embroidering morning dew
beading our memories
in the red and rainbows of militancy
Here in this theatre of slaughter
she is clearing a round of clay earth
intoning a litany
calling for a witness
You say: it is not our tradition
She says: is this your tradition
to rip the pulse from my chest
to deny a mother the dignity of dying ﬁrst?
You say: in the name of the father and the son
She says: in the name of my sisters
slain in meaningless massacres
for loving their own skin
A people do not survive
monsoons of oppression
only to savage their own kin.