A woman’s Creed – 25 years after publication

Input und Gespräch, 90 Minuten (in deutscher und englischer Sprache)

Anne-Claire Mulder, Feministische Theologin 

Almost twenty five years ago, during the preparation of the fourth world conference on women in Beijing organized by the UN, a small group of women from different continents wrote a Credo, a Woman’s Creed. In this Creed they voiced their desire for a different world, for the good life for all.

As far as I know the text of this Creed is not widely known. I found it by chance, through the reference in a footnote, although it is a very strong statement of the desire, especially in the very poetic last paragraph. In this workshop I propose to read this Credo and to discuss if this statement of belief or faith can be translated into the here and now. Does it move our desire for the good life?

Hier der Text im Wortlaut:

A WOMAN’S CREED
The Declaration of the Women’s Global Strategies Meeting
We are female human beings poised on the edge of the new millennium.
We are the
majority of our species, yet we have dwelt in the shadows.
We are the invisible, the
illiterate, the labourers, the refugees, the poor.
And we vow:
„No more“
We are the women who hunger – for rice, home, freedom, each other, ourselves.
We are the women who thirst – for clean water and laughter, literacy, love.
We have existed at all times, in every society.
We have survived femicide. We have
rebelled – and left clues.
We are continuity, weaving future from past, logic with lyric.
We are women who stand in our sense and shout „Yes“.
We are women who wear broken bones, voices, minds, hearts – but we are women
who dare whisper „No“.
We are women whose souls no fundamentalist cage can contain.
We are women who refuse to permit the sowing of death in our gardens, air, rivers,
seas.
We are each precious, unique, necessary.
We are strengthened and blessed and
relieved at not having to be all the same.
We are the daughters of longing.
We are
the mothers in labour to birth the politics of the 21st century.
We are the women men warned us about.
We are the women who know that all issues are ours, who will reclaim our wisdom,
reinvent our tomorrow, question and redefine everything, including power.
We have worked now for decades to name the details of our need, rage, hope, vision.
We have broken our silence, exhausted our patience.
We are weary of listing our
suffering – to entertain or be simply ignored.
We are done with vague words and real waiting; famishing for action, dignity, joy. We
intend to do more than merely endure and survive.
They have tried to deny us, define us, denounce us;
to jail, enslave, exile, gas, rape,
beat, burn, bury – and bore us.
Yet nothing, not even the offer to save their failed
system, can grasp us.
For thousands of years, women have had responsibility without power – while men
have had power without responsibility.
We offer those men who risk being brothers a
balance, a future, a hand. But with or without them, we will go on.
For we are the Old Ones, The New Breed, the Natives who came first but lasted,
indigenous to an utterly different dimension. We are the girl child in Zambia, the
grandmother in Burma, the women in El Salvador and Afghanistan, Finland and Fiji.
We are whale-song and rainforest;
the depth-wave rising huge to shatter the glass
power on the shore;
the lost and despised who, weeping, stagger into the light.
All this we are.
We are intensity, energy, the people speaking – who no longer will
wait and who cannot be stopped.
We are poised on the edge of the millennium – ruin behind us, no map before us, the
taste of fear sharp on our tongues.
Yet we will leap.
The exercise of imagining is an act of creation.
The act of creation is an exercise of will.
All this is political.
And possible.
Bread.
A Clean Sky.
Active peace.
A woman’s voice singing somewhere, melody
drifting like smoke from the cook fires.
The army disbanded, the harvest abundant.
The wound healed, the child wanted, the prisoner freed, the body’s integrity
honoured, the lover returned.
The magical skill that reads marks into meaning. The labour equal, fair, and valued.
Delight in the challenge for consensus to solve problems.
No hand raised in any
gesture but greeting.
Secure interiors – of heart, home, land – so firm as to make secure borders irrelevant
at last.
And everywhere laughter, care, celebration, dancing, contentment.
A humble, early
paradise, in the now.
We will make it real, make it our own, make policy, history, peace, make it available,
make mischief, a difference, love, the connection, the miracle, ready.
Believe it.
We are the women who will transform the world.
Written by Robin Morgan, in collaboration with Perdita Huston, Sunetra Puri, Mahnaz Afkhami, Diane Faulkner, Corrine Kumar, Simla Wali, Paola Melchiari
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