March of the Women

March of the women by Gráinne Smith, written for 8th March – International Women’s Day – 2011

Marching with their hearts those hardy souls pushed,

argued, fought laws long deemed immovable,

brought basic rights. All wrought by loving hands

and standing up to be counted for us – the Here and Now.

Yet still today across our world some live with dread –

cruel blows, whips, boots – the right to peace assumed

the sole preserve of men who lay down rules. These sisters,

degraded, can only dream a life without torture, rape.

Broken breath,

broken years,

her voice spoke

of so many tears

as she told

of that plastic bag

the police handed over –

a daughter whose bones

may be


there among other

lost souls.

We too can raise our voices,

stand for rights within the dark.

We too can fight for those

with no power, our hearts

march for freedom.

We too can light that spark.


‘Broken’For Paula Bonilla Flores, whose daughter Maria died in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in 1998, and who answered the question ‘What do you miss most about your daughter?’ with a sigh – described by human rights artist Tamsyn Challenger, as a broken breath which she finds impossible to forget. ‘Since January 2010 alone over 300 women have been murdered or abducted in the area – more than one a day.’

400 women exhibition – remembering the lives of women ages from 13 years up, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.