SCOTLAND’s national poet has reworked Robert Burns’ most famous poem to highlight the plight faced by women in times of conflict and disaster.
Scots Makar, Kathleen Jamie, wrote A Woman’s A Woman, a women-centric version of the Burns poem A Man’s A Man, for International Women’s Day – which was celebrated around the world yesterday.
The makar works with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to support both its humanitarian appeal for Ukraine and also the ongoing appeal for the crisis in Afghanistan.
“Having heard about the huge hunger crisis in Afghanistan, I was keen to help raise the profile of DEC’s work, especially the challenges women face there,” she said. declared.
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“With so many women and children currently affected by the Ukraine crisis as they flee the violence, I hope this video will now encourage people to do what they can to help.”
More than 2 million people have fled war-torn Ukraine since Vladimir Putin ordered his troops into the country, the majority of them women who have walked for hours to cross borders safely. The UN has said it is the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
The DEC said women and girls were disproportionately affected by the conflict and families had been torn apart, leaving women alone and vulnerable or responsible for young children in an effort to find safety.
And in doing so, children are uprooted from their schools and homes while men remain behind to be enlisted. For those who remain in Ukraine, life is dangerous. Women give birth in underground metro stations, as health facilities have become inaccessible or too damaged to function.
The organization said around 80,000 women will give birth in the next three months in the country.
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In Afghanistan, DEC member agencies are prioritizing nutritional support for young children and pregnant and lactating women, and taking steps to ensure the protection of women and girls.
DEC charities have negotiated access for female aid workers to ensure the needs of women and girls are met, the organization said.
Marie Hayes, from the British Red Cross in Scotland and chair of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in Scotland, said: “We know how special this work is for the people of Scotland and Scots everywhere.
“We are therefore extremely grateful that Kathleen has created and recorded this modern version of Burns’ most famous work to help raise awareness of the challenges of women in humanitarian crises, not only in Ukraine and Afghanistan, but in many many other places around the world, many of them away from media attention.