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International Women's Day: “All women are queens”

Yesterday was International Women's Day, and francophone bloggers around the world used music, poetry and art to honor the beauty, achievements, and continuing struggles of women.

In Martinique, Imaniyé [Fr] marks International Women's Day by posting this video by Senegalese singer, Ismael Lo:

In a video slideshow, Fontenay d'Avenir writes, “women have long fallen prey to the violence of this world” [Fr] and while she isn't necessarily opposed to a women's day, she doesn't see that it has changed anything.

Antonia Neyrins blogs on a plane between Benin and France. She posts the Alicia Keyes music video, “Superwoman,” and writes:

Je pense à toutes les femmes dont les droits élémentaires ne sont toujours pas respectés en 2009, toutes celles qui doivent lutter pour protéger et nourrir leurs enfants, trouver un logement et travailler, toutes celles qui sont victimes de violences conjugales, de violences ou de mutilations sexuelles ou toutes celles qui sont victimes d'atrocités commises au nom d'une guerre ou d'un intégrisme religieux, quel qu'il soit.

I think of all the woman whose basic rights, in 2009, are still not respected, all of those who must fight to protect and feed their children, find housing and work, all those who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence or mutilation, or those who are victims of atrocities committed in the name of whatever war or religious fundamentalism.

Je pense aussi à toutes les femmes épanouies au bras d'un homme (ou d'une femme) qu'elles aiment et qui les aime, qui ont réussi à trouver un équilibre entre leur vie de femme, de mère, d'épouse, d'amante, à toutes les femmes heureuses d'être nées femme.

I also think of all the women, happy in the arms of a man (or a woman) whom they love and who love them, who have succeeded in finding an equilibrium between their lives as women, mothers, wives, lovers, of all the women who are happy to have been born women.

Tout être humain équilibré et intelligent devrait souhaiter avoir près de lui un autre être humain, à son image, c'est à dire libre et epanoui.

C'est étrange en même temps cette fête, car nous sommes et restons femme tous les jours de l'année…

Every balanced and intelligent human being should wish to have, close to him, another human being, in his image, free and happy.

At the same time, this holiday is strange, because we are and we remain women every day of the year…

In Réunion, Noemie at TiBazar [Fr] posts photos of a local gathering celebrating the women of St. Paul.

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And in Morocco, citoyenhmida pays hommage to women through poetry which, he writes, would not be complete without “Black woman,” by Senegalese poet and former president, Léopold Sédar Senghor:

Naked woman, black woman

Clothed with your colour which is life,
with your form which is beauty!

In your shadow I have grown up; the
gentleness of your hands was laid over my eyes.

And now, high up on the sun-baked
pass, at the heart of summer, at the heart of noon,
I come upon you, my Promised Land,
And your beauty strikes me to the heart
like the flash of an eagle.

Naked woman, dark woman

Firm-fleshed ripe fruit, sombre raptures
of black wine, mouth making lyrical my mouth
Savannah stretching to clear horizons,
savannah shuddering beneath the East Wind's
eager caresses

Carved tom-tom, taut tom-tom, muttering
under the Conqueror's fingers

Your solemn contralto voice is the
spiritual song of the Beloved.

Naked woman, dark woman

Oil that no breath ruffles, calm oil on the
athlete's flanks, on the flanks of the Princes of Mali
Gazelle limbed in Paradise, pearls are stars on the
night of your skin

Delights of the mind, the glinting of red
gold against your watered skin

Under the shadow of your hair, my care
is lightened by the neighbouring suns of your eyes.

Naked woman, black woman,
I sing your beauty that passes, the form
that I fix in the Eternal,

Before jealous fate turn you to ashes to
feed the roots of life.

  • http://www.thenappytruth.blogspot.com Pascale

    Nice translation of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s Femme Nue, Femme Noire! And I agree with the blogger who said that \we are and remain women every day of the year.”

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  • http://jilliancyork.com Jillian York

    Beautiful post, Jen!

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