Monday, May 16, 2011
A Brave Ugandan Woman Speaks Out....
Achieng Beatrice Nas
Programme Officer; Communications , Build Africa Uganda (BAU)
"I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the opportunity, education and motivation everyone can become someone admirable.”
Nine months of labour, painful hours of birth that consists of pushing out a human being (that weighs a minimum of two Kilos) out of their body at a cost of near-to-death and then looking after these beings for the rest of her life. Many still give birth at their homes, in their houses, kitchen and latrines, enduring the pain as it comes and by the help of old women, who chop off the cord of the babies using razorblades and without gloves. She gives birth to up to fifteen children because her husband won't allow family planning methods.
She was sold off by her parents for bride wealth from as early as 10years of age, she is considered as a property by her husband, she has no voice in her own house, she is bartered by her husband so often but her parents won't allow her return to their house because once married, always married. She hunts for food, firewood, water, vegetables to feed her family. She is in the farm on a daily basis, her office for life. It is from the very garden that the many more poor toil in the "better- offs" farms to earn hard cash that they can use to buy soap, salt, matchbox, and kerosene (the basic needs), their husbands are not ashamed to steal the little cash their wives toil for. Once he spots, he picks the whole of it and take to the alcohol joint and drink it ALL with other women.
Some women struggle to grow rice, cotton, nuts, corns for commercial purposes in order to pay school fees for the children and meet the demands in the house, in the process their husbands are busy sipping alcohol and engaging in idle games. As soon as the hard cash arrives, the wife, as respectful as usual declares her every financial gains to the man, he takes the initiative of "keeping the money" as the "the man in the house". Soon after the wife hands over the whole cash to him, the next step is marring another wife, torturing and bartering the home wife, sleeping for weeks in the drinking joints...
Where are the women in our villages heading to if they have no time to relax and have fun? all the time busy with garden and house work. In fact some do not even find time to take bathes. There are so many village women who have unpleasant smell simply because they do not find time to clean themselves. Those who try to be neat are accused of cheating on their husbands. A man sits idle, the baby is crying, utensils need cleaning, there is no firewood, no water in the house, no food, he will continue to sit and relax comfortably because tradition has it that it is the woman's role to do all the house work.
Did you ever take time to analyze the lifestyle of a typical African village woman? Do you see that the majority complain of back ache? Have you asked those walking on sticks about their past?
Surely if by a disturbing freak of nature the men underwent childbirth, going through the whole process from carrying someone in their bellies to having their legs stretched apart with people they do not know, sticking their hands inside them and pulling out these creatures, I believe that no man would ever come home late to their wives or girlfriend courtesy of late night drinks with the "boys". They would be as docile as they came- I mean no going out, no boozing, no quarrels, no nothing but just being at their women's beck and call.
It is time for our African men to consider women's lives. Gone are the days of proving manhood this way. A real man supports his family, a real man loves and respects his wife, a real man is faithful, a real man cares about humanity. Be a real man.
Written by a brave young voice in Uganda…. Achieng Beatrice Nas