The weight of women

The weight of being a woman in 

Being female is like a tap that can be turned on and off at anyone’s convenience. How many times do you walk on the streets of Kampala and don’t see any act of inequality? Things seem better, that’s what most people see and say. Why are we blind to obvious facts?

I remember a conversation I had with this particular boda guy on my way from the school I teach. Well, our conversation drove us to a particular element that caught my interest, women riding bodas disguised as men. He told me of having seen women ride bodas to earn a living just as men do. I was fascinated with this evolution but then got sad when he said, “I don’t think anyone would take that ride if they discovered it’s a woman riding it,” his reason for thinking so was that women are cowards who cannot take Quick decisions in front of a situation involving an impending accident (boda boda men ride so crazy in Uganda). Females are believed to be slow and delay to make decisions. What can be as heartbreaking as this? To realize that women interested in riding bodas have to dress up like men just to feel acceptable and picked up by passengers. Until when shall we continue to think that women are incapable of making clear decisions? Don’t we admire a world where women are free to do what they want and care about without the fear of being questioned, ignored and demeaned? All I am asking for is a little bit of freedom which we supposedly think we have.

My beautiful lovely mum, currently advocating for my female rights whenever we are in the house and talking about work, men and family, is a 56-year-old woman who believed that a boy cannot in any way be compared to a girl. When I was growing up, whenever I complained about her not giving my brother the same house chores load as mine, she would tell me that he is a boy, and I shouldn’t compare myself to him. From childhood, I always wondered why things were not fair and I didn’t have the guts to speak, I believe I can do that better now. My brother, mama’s only handsome young gentleman, grew up to be different, he does chores at his place. 

Are we baby machines that probably everyone thinks that our role is to build a clan for who God knows? I dated my boyfriend for four years and we did not want to have a child then, but I got about five men who claimed to be his friends telling me to give him a child- that I have taken long to do so, actually, my boyfriend was not in a rush, but now I am a happy mother to my adorable- most amazingly beautiful little girl, not because of the pressure to give my boyfriend a child, but because I decided and he too decided. A couple of months ago I lost a childhood friend of mine (May He Rest in Peace) to hepatitis B. Now what was so interesting about his wreath was that people felt so sad and concerned about the fact that he died young and with no child. They blamed his girlfriend for not giving him a child. This is a world where a woman can easily be blamed for silly small things by society such as not giving birth to children or for a particular man.

I am a friend to men, I just love conversing and associating with them. When I graduated, my male friends and some females, as if they have the same mind, told me to get married since I was done with education and therefore there was no excuse to stay at my mama’s place. I was furious at how they thought, but then I told myself it’s how they see “us”, a girl should study, graduate and get married, now if I may ask, what is the use of girl education? Is it to empower us, to give us skills? We sit in the same classroom with boys and we are all intelligent beings, why then drive us to a path that we may not want? After education, females should decide, not be decided for by society and its expectation, but we are the society, and we can change. God believes in new beginnings, he saved Noah for a new beginning

We are a source of happiness to our families and the people who love us. It’s unbelievable that even today, in our villages, females are considered a bad-day maker when they are the first thing a man encounters early in the morning. We all know the tradition among the Baganda, and some tribes, that if a man meets a woman as the first thing when he commences his journey, he should go back to his home because that would be an automatically bad day. How do you feel if you become a reason for someone’s bad day and why is this still applicable yet we make the men happy? Our sacrifices, love and affection make them happy; they blossom like the lilies in the mountains and shine bright like the caramels on a sunny day. No wonder the saying, “Behind every successful man is a woman”. Yes! We can change tradition.

I love the initiative of our president, his Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, he has given power to women, not power to feel like a man, but power to hold leadership roles in our country, not just small leadership roles- our Prime Minister, Speaker and Vice president are women, and this shows that women are much more capable like men. But there is more to do, I look forward to a Uganda that sees the worth of women, a Uganda where women do not have to give to get, a Uganda where women are free to ride Bodas, a Uganda where it is not the woman’s fault when anything happens to a man.

We should not only talk about girls and women, let us talk about our boys. Neglecting them has hiked theft, drug abuse and other vices. A friend of mine rides a boda and he is a father to a sweet little princess, he recently told me that his girl is growing so fast and he needs to work hard so he can provide for her to avoid her going astray. I asked if he had a boy, and he said “no” but went ahead to say that boys do not need much attention, protection and care as girls do. And this is what most of us think when it comes to the boy child; they need our protection, love and care as much as girls do. If we continue with this, our boys will loosen. This injustice will slowly kill them, force them to make terrible tragic choices and we shall have monsters for brothers, friends and sons, and the fight will be for nothing, because we need boys who feel the urge to be better, who see how equal their parents love and care for them, this in turn will create a force to change masculinity as defined by the society.

This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!


Written by Esther (0)

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business matchmaking: A steady path towards sustainable entrepreneurship

Masculinity and the boy