Great contributions so and I notice that it is mainly men that have responded to the questions. It would be nice if we could hear from women themselves too on how they feel about the emphasis.
Let me post a contribution from one of our resource people since he is not on this platform. I will also be sharing some of the discussion going on without repeating what has been shared here already.
SK Sonke Gender Justice: Morning all, the most important for us is know what do we want to achieve at the end of the day. We want men, women, girls and boys to live in peace. No one should be judged or treated based on his/ her sexual identity. We should be equal. The reason for us to fight gender inequality is because the system is in favor of men the most hence most men are in position of power in all aspects. Men are presented in all angles e.g. they are dominating in politics, household, workplace, transport industry and so on. If you count the population of each country you will find that women are more than men but can’t be seen in the working force. You only see women in hospitals when they carry their babies to hospital/ clinic for health reasons or in communities during the day. We have no choice but to challenge the system so that they can have an opportunities to explore expertise. The previous system put the women into an awkward position and we need to change that. Indeed the men also need the support, counselling and coaching because they constructed this behaviour from the community and it not easy to unlearn it or rather not easy to be transformed. We have no choice but to fight this pandemic even if we have to do anything to stop it. We cannot allow men to do anything they suit for them against women. I concur with other speakers when they share their bad experiences on man abused by women. I have no doubt that can happen to men hence I agree that men should be looked at too. However women suffer the most and they are beaten by system. Let’s work together to fight the system by shifting policies in our countries as well advocating, lobby, mobilized for better system which will favour both men, women, girls and boys. Let’s draw our own objectives instead of the objectives of your organization or country objectives. Gender Equality need a person who practical do it. Let’s learn from HIV struggling. HIV people disclosed their status in public and the community and government got a sense of it hence they supported the struggling. We need to leave gender equality, by taking your partner to your workplace environment or being a company each and share the presentation to the public. As gender activist, we must show the public that we are serious about this. Let’s not doubt the struggling in between in the journey. They reason we stood up is an outcry of our mothers, sisters, partners and our daughters. I lean a lot to this group and I wish these platforms can be created across as to be able to engage each other. Allutta Continua
Ngwenya Denis: I have realised something from another angle in terms of women representation in different positions. In my country for example, in 2013 we adopted a new constitution with a clause to promote women in parliament. Under that clause, a total of 60 women would go to parliament through a process of proportional representation. The number of seats that are contested in the house of assembly stand at 210. If you add those 60 the number gets to 270. We went to the polls in 2013 and when the results came out, only 11% of women had managed to be voted in as MPs.
For me the idea of 60 women in parliament via the proportional representation method was good in the beginning because women were surely under represented. This clause was meant to be used in 2013 & 2018 polls. After that it was going to be expunged. However this system did not help women in terms of addressing social issues affecting them and the community at large. If you ask any honest political commentator in Zimbabwe, he / she will tell you that this clause is being abused to the core because right now the women who are chosen to go to parliament under proportional representation are those with close ties to the ruling elites. The very same men whom we are saying are not giving women a fair deal. In the end you realise that the people who go to parliament are clueless and don’t move even a single motion. What they do is to sit there and continue to enjoy the government perks when they are not doing anything meaningful. Right now they have agreed to keep that clause beyond 2023 elections. As we try to address the issues of inequality, we should try and avoid the traps like ours. It will not make sense to have a number of people who go to parliament on nepotism and cronyism just to fulfil a clause in the constitution yet they don’t address even a single issue affecting when women in Africa have a plethora of challenges hindering their progress and delaying economic and social progress!
Arbogast Mutayoba Tanzania: To be frank GBV is a phenomenon not only for women hobut also men,and we ought not to disqualify males complaints,however few they are.
The bad side of the story about men is that when they report the incidents of violence against them(those who dared so,as some kept quiet as nothing has happened) they are judged from history that men are brutal,giving woman a win on the case! once I witnessed a woman inside their house attacking her husband with a stick,while crying and calling out neighbours for help that she was being beaten!!
Anyway I would like to see that we are resonding to this week topic,so ghat at the end we know the conclusion and way out out of GBV
Patel: True…everytime when they talk about GBV they only think it’s women …yes i understand that they are few men facing it but they are also facing the violence in their homes and keep quiet.We really have to come with a solution to this as a team ,if possible can we establish then an emergency response team to try help the voice less
Martha Caracal Tanzania: Sorry for those face this problem, but we should be open about this so we can help our society
We have to come out no matter what, but we have to listen to our hearts on what to share and what we should not share so we can be comfortable
Busi N: Morning everyone
I am following the discussion with interest. Last week we dealt with understanding GBV and people shared their understanding. Through what came out is the fact that GBV affects everyone but women are the ones that normally report it and they are the ones experiencing it more than men. We are not saying men are not subjected to gender based violence but most of them keep quiet or do nothing for fear of being labeled weak. We know this is as a result of our cultural norms which portray men as the stronger sex. Men also need to come out and share their stories. I am eagerly waiting for @Citizen®Ayertey to share his own story. I believe it will encourage others even in this group. Can you imagine the difference it wouls make if media would broadcast such stories as normal? It would end this ‘ridicule’ we are talking about. When other men hear stories of abuse from other men on a daily basis they will eventually see nothing wrong with reporting it. I agree sometimes even the police do not take men who report such cases seriously because it is very rare. In our country, in each police station we have a section dedicated to just GBV because it is a concern but the question is, how many men use that service? This reminds me of when I was working for another NGO, we worked with radio stations and at some point after the 16 days of activism again violence of women and children we decided to go to this small town, they have a community radio station and they have been broadcasting programs encouraging women to come out and report GBV and we randomly were talking to women in the streets wanting to know if they have heard or listened to any of the programs. There was this particular man who apparently was watching us and listening to ask asking these women, he finally gathered courage and came to talk to us and asked why is everything about women, what about them that feel abused in their own homes and he started sharing his story. That was really something to consider and as we know when we talk about gender equality we are not just talking about women. We are looking at all sexes receiving equal treatment as human beings.
This week questions are focusing on women because as we have noted and noticed, people have contributed that women are looked at as the weaker vessels, there are even jobs that are only considered for men. Imagine a ‘female mechanic’ - how many men would patronise her services without doubting competency? I am emphasizing female in this case neither to dignify nor degrade but to show the mechanic is a woman.
Let me stop here for now.
+233 24 310 7###: My story is quite different as I met a Lady who had not stepped into the classroom before and felt so insecure about our relationship because of our educational difference.
She would insult me.and use abusive and very offensive words at me at her shop in the midst of her customers and even her family members.
She is a self made, hardworking woman who thought she had all she needed and wasn’t ready to learn anything new apart from what she knew.
She didn’t understand my job and thought anytime I went out, I went another woman…
She would always be like, “but you work in an office and you should either be in the office or here with me”.
I tried everything including finding a private tutor for her but she got more offended anytime the issue of education comes in.
This was actually giving me serious emotional troubles that I had to battle with for about 3years before I said to myself that it was enough after I lost my job, took to some form of Alcoholism. I wasnt making enough money too and sometimes had to depend on her for support. She could not give any reason as to why she was doing that and would always blame it on one friend I had even before I met here saying that my friend looked like a womanizer. It may sound funny but it was traumatizing me emotionally because I wasn’t cheating in any form.
I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know how to say it. Sometimes people in her hood would ask me “why are you stack with this mad woman”?
I liked her because she was very hardworking but finally I got help from another female friend who encouraged me to walk away because that relationship would kill me if I continued. Friends only spoke about it after I mastered courage to leave and find myself another job. The situation became worse after I lost my job at my first radio station.
That is my story.
Ngwenya Denis: Hmmmm sounds tough. Levels my brother. You bring in another exciting perspective in the African narrative. MEN should WORK hard and PROVIDE for women and to see a man being supported financially by a woman is an ABOMINATION. In the European/ Western context, it does not matter who has the financial muscle as long as there is food on the table and bills are paid. But in African culture, society has constructed it in our minds that men should marry women of lesser value in terms of education, finances etc so that he will be able to control her. That is why in most of Africa, ladies who are well educated and financial secure are single coz no suitors come close to them. If you are a man and try to make a move on such a lady you will hear comments like “hey, what do you think you are doing? Do you think you will control here with all that education and money?” And the man freaks out…
+254 759 732###: This happen,you will see nowadays women says “, what is the need for getting married if I have good work which gives me money to manage myself and also if I can provide for the one or more children I have ,” as a result you will find large number of women living single.This quote entered inside me and I also started telling myself if I will be financially stable I will not get married,but now am asking God to forgive me for this and I had to put in mind ,if God brings a man in my life whether I will be financially stable or not I will get married.
Busi N: Thank you for sharing and big up to you for not staying because of material gain as you said at some point you depended on her support. That is one problem on its own that needs to be addressed where women are more affording than their partners such that they become abusive. I want to disagree with @Ngwenya Denis on the fact that men should work hard to provide for women. If you say it like that, you are taking us back to the stereotypes. Being partners in a relationship or marriage should just be that, you both work together for survival otherwise that is why there is a joke about a cerrain tribe on our side that when the ladies leave their villages and go to Johannesburg for instance, once they get a boyfriend, they call home and say they now have jobs or are employed and will be sending money