March 8th is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood is raising awareness and advocating for the need for women and their families globally to have access to health care. Their campaign, Dreams for My Daughter, is advocating and honoring our dreams for the women of tomorrow.

March 8th, 2011 is the official 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. Let’s celebrate the social, political, and economic achievements made by and for women around the world – but also speak out against the injustices and inequalities that many women still face. One of the greatest of these inequalities remains access to health resources. A thousand women a day are still dying needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth due to the lack of skilled care – we want to change this.

To mark International Women’s Day, the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) is uniting women and men in solidarity to raise awareness and funds for this important cause. Please help us commemorate IWD 2011 by taking part in ‘Dreams for My Daughter’ and the WRA Global Dinner Party initiatives. Join the global chorus pressing governments to do more to save the lives of mothers and newborns.

I decided to participate and submit something. I had the ambitious idea to create a short video for the campaign. I had all these images and ideas in my head about how the video would play out. Needless to say, that never happened.

It wasn’t until I was quiet and my brain held still at a birth in the early hours of the morning that I came up with something. The following words rushed out of me and into my notepad. I haven’t written in so long and I immediately thought of something Gloria Lemay said in Outlaw Midwives’ Zine (vol 2).

The way that midwives have those “ah ha” moments of discovery is by being bored out of our wits at long births, with no distractions, staying quiet as a mouse trying to refrain the wild animal within our heads that says “You need some chocolate.”

I was at this longer than long birth and needed some food, some rest, and loving from my family. In the dark, listening to this mama moan, I was thinking about Ahimsa and what dreams I had for her. In my thinking, after a long pause, I felt inspired.

This is what I submitted.

dreams for my daughter (for my love, ahimsa)

in the sleep of midnights
babies flex extend rotate descend
into the new world
this world
wombs of sweetness
mothers snore as they transition
dreaming magically while sitting
at the feet of ancestors
welcome home…
happy birthday
crowned as you enter this earth
with wombs low to the ground
seated close to our first mother
her vibrations tickle babies’ skulls
whispers in the ears of midwives
kept in the sights of gods
calling forth to wrap her arms around
buoyed in water
or feet planted firmly on the ground
on our hands through our knees
we pull life to our hearts
as love fills our breasts
i dream for my daughter
a birthing in peace that will
give her and her peers
access to trained birth attendants
so that none of them
dance with death
while trying to become mamas
themselves
i dream for my daughter
a birthing in peace that will
heal wombs earth and nations
that her choices in birth not be
determined by representatives
legislatures medical societies
celebrities or cable television
i dream for my daughter
an education and freedom
from violence
a sort of self-sufficiency
greater than my own
a chance at love and freedom

a dream where daughters can fly

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