Empoword celebrates International Women's Day with poetry event

A poetry group celebrated womanhood at a special event in honour of International Women’s Day on Saturday.

Empoword, organised by youth charity Aik Saath, runs on the first Saturday of every month and gives a platform to a variety of artists including rappers, writers and comedians.

Poets were tasked with delivering a female-orientated poem about women who inspire them ahead of International Women’s Day which is held on March 8 every year.

“They spoke about the disparity between men and women, what it means to have strong women around you,” said organiser Saleha Lagif, 21.

The event, held at HOME in the Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough, acknowledged the ‘hits’ women have to take in daily life, including girls skipping school because they are unable to afford sanitary products and a fear of using public transport late at night.

Women who had experienced domestic violence or sexual assault were also given a safe space to talk about their experiences.

“They could channel vulnerability into their poetry,” Saleha added.

Male poets also performed at the event to pay tribute to the women in their lives.

“We don’t just need to be inspired by people of the same background, ethnicity, gender or sexuality,” said Saleha. “Seeing what female relatives have to deal with created empathy.”

She added: “I don’t think women are overlooked in Slough and it is nice to celebrate that.”

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