GMB union regional equalities group International Women's Day

We felt this poem illustrated exactly the mood of many women, with the feelings and emotions of the poem being felt by the hundreds of thousands of women who have shouldered much of the burden.

9 March 2021

GMB union Equalities group read a poem, I Bend by Selena Odom , for International Women’s Day.

As we celebrate International Womens Day, the womens network looked at the role women have played throughout the pandemic. We identified that it is women who are more likely to have taken on those extra caring responsibilities. Many families prior to lockdown moved vulnerable family members into their homes to form bubbles, the majority of the extra work and caring for this will have fallen on women.

Those children who are not vulnerable and whose parents are not key workers have been home schooled for a great portion of the last 12 months, the majority of those education responsibilities have fallen on women.

Women are significantly more likely to work in sectors that do not allow working from home as an option. Roles such as healthcare, social care, retail, teaching assistants, domestics, it is these vital services that have kept the country running and predominantly it is women in these roles.

We felt this poem illustrated exactly the mood of many women, with the feelings and emotions of the poem being felt by the hundreds of thousands of women who have shouldered much of the burden.

I bend but do not break.
I've been lost, but I'm not a loser.
I'm a wreck, but I'm not totaled.
I'm fractured but not broken.
I've failed, but I'm not a failure.
I've fallen hard but can get up again.
I'm isolated, but still I'm free.
I have been destroyed but will rebuild.
My heart is broken, but it will mend.
See, no matter how close I come to breaking, I just continue to bend

There are many positives to take from this, we will rebuild, we are not broken and we will get up again.

GMB union members are welcome to join the regional equalities group, helping make a difference in the workplaces all over the region.

Contact Lisa Ryan via email [email protected]

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GMB union Equalities Group poem, I Bend by Selena Odom