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International Women’s Day 2020 quotes: Best poems and messages to celebrate Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2019 quotes: On women’s day, people post their favourite feminist quote (Image: Getty)

nternational Women’s Day traditionally honoured working women, but today it celebrates womanhood in general, choose to draw attention to the existence of gender inequality world-wide. Many people use the day to revisit and share their favourite work from female writers, or by sharing motivational quotes about women with their friends and family. What are the best poems and messages to celebrate Women’s Day with this year?

How can I take part in International Women’s Day?

It might seem like International Women’s Day is going unnoticed in your area, but it probably isn’t.

Have a look at the International Women’s Day website events page to find out what is going on near you- from talks, to workshops, to marches.

This year, the campaign theme is #EachforEqual, which is all about choosing to challenge stereotypes and bias rather than giving in to inequality.

Type the hashtag into Instagram and you’ll find thousands of people posing with their arms out in the #EachforEqual pose. Why not join in?

READ MORE Meghan Markle named most inspirational woman in the UK

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What are the best poems to celebrate Women’s Day?

Every year social media is full of people quoting female poets or inspirational women.

Do you want to join in but not sure where to find a quote that resonates with you?

Here are seven feminist works that you can use to ‘wow’ your followers and spread the message of the campaign.

1. Maya Angelou- ‘Still I Rise’

In this poem, Angelou talks about rising above a society that wants her to fail.

As an African American woman born in the 1920s, Angelou would have been talking about her experiences of racism as well as sexism.

Both forces of suppression still impact women today, so the message is still relevant.

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This poem is iconic and has been studied at GCSE level by any students in the UK.

It’s packed with motivational quotes to share with family and friends for International Women’s Day.

Read it here

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2. Rupi Kaur- ‘I want to apologize…’

You will have seen this poem and the book it is taken from- ‘Milk and Honey’- splashed all over your Instagram feed.

The whole book is a great read for International Women’s Day, but this poem hits the nail on the head.

It talks about women being more than their beauty.

Read it here, or purchase the whole book here.

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3. Anne Bradstreet- ‘In Honour of That High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth’

Bradstreet is the first female English-speaking poet ever to be published- that alone is a reason to check out some of her work!

This poem praises Queen Elizabeth, who Bradstreet considered a strong, powerful, and independent woman despite being female.

Snatch some quotes from it to empower your girl-friends.

Read it here.

4. Amy Newman- ‘Howl’

If you’re a real literature lover, you have probably heard of ‘Howl’ by beat poet and friend of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg.

This famous poem is all about the ways in which women are made to suffer today- from dieting to sexual assault.

It is dedicated to Toni Keller, an American student who was abducted and then murdered after wandering in a park in 2010.

Have a go at the original poem here, and read Newman’s updated feminist version here.

5. Virginia Woolf- ‘A Room of One’s Own’

It’s not a poem, but this extended essay is mindblowing.

References to ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ are found all the time in music and literature… and this is where the idea was invented.

What if Shakespeare had been born a girl- Judith Shakespeare- instead?

Woolf talks about how female talent is was denied in the 1920s, and girls weren’t expected to be clever or rational.

Buy it for a few pounds online, it won’t disappoint (and it might just get you riled up and ready for a march!)

6. Anne Sexton- ‘Her Kind’

This poem talks about women who do not do what is expected of them and do not fall into a certain ideal.

Sexton admits, “I have been her kind”.

The values in the poem are carried on today- feminists believe women should not have to conform or restrict themselves.

So if you are someone who defies social norms, this one is for you.

Give it a try here.

7. Walt Whitman- ‘I Sing the Body Electric’

Men can be feminists too! This poem is an early male-feminist poem, as Whitman celebrates the perfection of the female body as well as the male.

Whitman’s poem is basically an old version of the Body Positivity movement- he expresses a love for all sorts of bodies.

From babies to mothers, he urges us to: “be not ashamed women”.

If this sounds up your street, read it here.

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