I suffer in silence, swallow my pain

Feeling choked, against my will,

I don’t feel well and I just cry,

How much longer – this poisoned love.


Slaps, sex and ordered to obey,

I spend the night out in the cold

If I protest, I will be marked

How will my daughter get married?


A helpless game that I’m a part,

it’s only natural, the way men are

masculinity, at the expense of us

no one should have to take this.


This poem is written to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, a global campaign taking place from the 25th November to 10th December. It is based on the experiences shared by three women interviewed in Bangladesh and Peru during the WHO multi-country study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women.