Am currently doing an online course on women’s health and rights. I knew that it would be interesting and all, but nothing prepared me for the reality that women face in the world on a day to day basis.I mean you have to forget the maybe 5% of women who have defied the odds to be where they are today. Being passionate about women, a lot of the topics shocked me, that even in the 21-century women are still so far from reaching their potential and just merely surviving to take care of their families,.
It’s painful to think about a woman in the rural areas of Uganda here, with six children, the youngest about six months old and one on the way. This lady is struggling to feed her children, giving them fruits like mangoes or jackfruit given as payment to her from peoples gardens that they are privileged to work in. meanwhile, her husband has two other wives with a latter of more children, in other words, her children and her are not a priority. On a good day, he gives her 500 shillings to buy sauce and expects a balance of 300ugsh. I mean I head this lady s story and wept a little inside. Her husband hates contraceptives and would beat her if he knew she was even thinking about using them.
Unfortunately, her story sounds like a lot of stories around the world, in a world where women have been forced to bear with so much. Women whose destiny has been chosen for them before they were born. Women whose stories have been written before time and cannot bear the shame to disappoint their families and traditions that set their paths. Sad stories. So I keep asking myself, who fights for these women, who will defy the odds. how can the norm set in motion be defined?
Did you know that women in the working industry around the world are paid 50% less than men on average, yet statics also show that they work longer than men and still have to take care of their children, in-laws, and extended families but are ironically paid less? Did you know that in Africa close to 90% of the food people eat is produced by women, yes people women are doing more digging and taking care of families? A new trend in rural areas today in Uganda is men meeting to actively participate in games of ladle, card games and drinking local alcohol as a day’s work as their wives, carry a child on the back, go digging for most of the day then return
In town centres men leave home for work, leaving their wives with 1000shs for food, go work for about two hours and play board games amidst hitting on every skirt that passes, eat lunch comprised of meat, pass by a local fish or pork joint to spend the rest of the money and return home claiming they had had a slow day at work, didn’t make any money, therefore, are not in the mood to eat, the “mukene” (silver fish) the wife prepared and drag themselves to bed.
Some of us were privileged to be born in spaces where we were valued and celebrated and wanted, it is truly a blessing considering the reality of girls who never get to live. In India, a large percentage of women are hated by their in-laws for giving birth to a girl child and in extreme cases, they are killed in unknown circumstances or beaten and acid poured on to them, to get rid of them. In some cultures, parties are held for the birth of a male child and pity is thrown at the woman who gives birth to a girl. an alarming percentage of abortions and child mortality are girl children. with technology like ultra sound, the rates are even higher. The realities of our growing society are definitely in lacking.
The realities of our growing society are definitely in lacking. You would think that after all this time, a woman would walk into a room and she is not judged based on her gender. It is our place as women to change these realities for many others, if you raise a boy child educating him on the value of women, he, in turn, will respect women and not see them as weak or as property. But the rising trend of modern women today is leaving the men in even less respect for them. I mean there is a reason why a country is called “her”. Because women by default are the backbone of the nation.
“If you educate a boy child, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl child, you educate a nation”
let us pick a new identity and change the fate of many others out there without a voice, through advocacy, lifting each other up instead of pulling our selfies down, encouraging one another. Join forces to support each other. it begins with us. people only respect you and value you according to the value you place on yourself. if you keep thinking like a victim, you will be treated as such.
Just a few thoughts…from a woman who wants the best for women.