Makar Kathleen Jamie reworks Burns poem to highlight women’s plight

For International Women's Day, Scotland's national poet penned a modern take on A Man's A Man for A' That.

Scotland’s national poet Makar Kathleen Jamie reworks famous Burns poem to highlight women’s plight DEC

Scotland’s national poet has reworked a famous Robert Burns poem to highlight the plight of women in times of crisis.

For International Women’s Day, Makar Kathleen Jamie has penned A Woman’s A Woman, a modern take on A Man’s A Man for A’ That.

Working with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), Jamie’s poem offers a women-centred retelling of the Bard’s classic in support of the organisation’s efforts in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

“Having heard about the huge hunger crisis in Afghanistan I was keen to help raise the profile of the DEC’s work, in particular the challenges that women face there,” Jamie said.

“With so many women and children now affected in the Ukraine crisis as they flee the violence, I hope this video will now encourage people to do what they can to help.”

Women and girls are consistently disproportionately affected by conflict, the DEC said.

More than two million people have fled Ukraine, the vast majority being women and children, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Russia’s invasion has seen families torn apart as men aged 18 to 60 have been banned from leaving the country under martial law.

Ukrainians arrive in Medyka, Poland, after fleeing Russia invasion.STV News

Women have been left to flee alone, often responsible for young children, walking for hours to cross borders in the hope of finding safety.

For those left in behind life is dangerous under Russian artillery and airstrikes, with reports of troops firing on humanitarian corridors in breach of ceasefires.

Women have been giving birth in underground metro stations as health facilities have become inaccessible or too damaged to function.

DEC said around 80,000 women will give birth within the next three months in the country.

In Afghanistan, DEC member agencies are prioritising nutrition support for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women.Getty Images

In Afghanistan, DEC member agencies are prioritising nutrition support for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women and taking steps to provide protection for women and girls.

DEC charities have negotiated access for female aid workers to ensure that the needs of women and girls are being met, the organisation said.

Marie Hayes of the British Red Cross Scotland, chair of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in Scotland, said: “We know how special this work is to the people of Scotland and Scots around the world, so we are hugely grateful that Kathleen has created and recorded this modern version of Burns’ most famous work to help raise the profile of women’s challenges in humanitarian crises, not only in Ukraine and Afghanistan, but in many other places around the world, many of them away from media attention.”