http://Reflection of WomenThere was also a presentation on Breast Cancer Awareness. Ms. Mercy Calys-Tagge, from the Barnabas Anglican Church in Osu facilitated the presentation. She shared that women in the cities can go to the hospitals for care. She asked, “What about women in the villages? Women are dying in these villages. How do we treat women with breast cancer? Pain management would be beneficial, but by the time you get to stage four, it is horrible.” I thought about women living in rural communities that are hospital poor, with minimal resources, and no health insurance. How do they navigate systems when there is a diagnosis? Even with women working minimum wage jobs here in our cities and suburbs, income that is insufficient for them to make a living, how do they survive when a diagnosis is revealed that changes their lives?
One of the leaders had a concern about something that happened at one of their events last year. Joyce challenged them by asking, “What legacy are we leaving? Let’s be mindful of the words that we use. As leaders, we are the pillar of the church and when we become too strong, the men will use the women to divide and take away our power.” Yes, there is still patriarchy even as women are empowered to serve.
This reflection reminded me of one of my favorite songs, originally sung by Sade, and remade by India Arie a couple of years ago. This song expresses the struggle of women in a third world country, and how they are forced to live day to day. Their struggles are characterized as heartache, poverty, pain, and injustice. While it is focused on women in a third world country, I beg to offer that it speak of brown and Black women where I live:
“There’s a woman in Somalia scraping for pearls by the roadside. There is a force stronger than nature, keeps her will alive. That is how she’s dying. She’s dying to survive. I don’t know what she is made of. I would like to be that brave. She cries to heaven above, “there’s a stone in my heart,” she lives a life she didn’t choose, and it hurts like brand new shoes.
There’s a woman in Rwanda, the sun shows her no mercy, the same sky we lay under, burns her to the bone. Long as afternoon shadows is gonna take her to get home, each grain carefully wrapped up, pearls for her little girl, Hallelujah! (x2). She cries to the heaven above, “there is a stone in my heart,” she lives in a world, she didn’t choose, and it hurts like brand new shoes.”