EDUCATION, HEALTH, AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

BAJIRA CHISHUBA
Posted April 27, 2015 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

English translation by community member LightMyWay.

Hello, my dear friends from World Pulse, I have been called to raise my voice and make my personal contribution to the call to action!!!!

Personally, my participation in putting an end to continuing inequalities between men and women today is this: If inequalities are persisting, it’s because of us women, because we are taking no steps forward to cross these boundaries that have for so long separated us from men. We’re like the old adage, which says that if a hen has been tied up to something for a long time, even once she’s untied, she forgets that she has been set free and can’t put a single foot forward for fear of being struck with a stick.

To overcome these obstacles through the full participation of women in my community, I’ve already taken the step of gathering a few women from my community and creating a women’s organization, called ASPIVG for short, which stands for Action for Social Promotion and Integration of Vulnerable Generations.

Regarding the status of women and girls and/or gender equality: Based on the statistics from my community, there are more men than women, and it’s the men who hold the main positions in all things. Then they’re even more invested with an egoistic and dictatorial mindset. Meanwhile, women, always expected to be submissive to men, stand idly by without knowing it or wanting it. Thus females have always remained inferior in all things.

Based on what I’ve just mentioned, the three areas that we’re trying to tackle have been negatively impacted by what we experience daily in our communities.

1. In the Education sector: the number of girls who finish primary and/or secondary school is much lower than the number of boys, because parents influence the girls not to continue their learning, saying that girls need only to learn how to cook. If fathers decide not to pay the school fees for their daughters, the daughters stay at home to watch the other children, and to work in the fields with their mothers.

2. In the Health sector: the maternal and infant mortality rates have risen as men have not rallied to take care of their wives. Suppose a man who is polygamous doesn’t really know how to care for his wife and/or get her follow-up care. Due to this, numerous women are dying during pregnancy or childbirth. Some women die during pregnancy or childbirth because they carry their pregnancies to term at home, as they have no financial means to check in to health facilities.

3. In the Gender-Based Violence sector: 1/3 of rape cases, whether physical or sexual abuse, are committed by husbands or partners. These cases persist and remain a global epidemic because there is no legal protection for the (surviving) victims.

There is no justice for the victims as vulnerable women, especially as in our communities, these vulnerable women have no recourse to justice. The organizations that have mobilized in the fight against gender-based violence are all on the verge of failure, because they waste all their energy identifying cases, trying to follow up on cases, attending cases, referring to other homes; but at the end of the day, they know they are doing unsuccessful work.

We have so many identified, referred, followed cases that have known one or all of these three questions. My vision to resolve these problems is this:

WE HAVE HIGHLIGHTED SOME MAJOR PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED TO WHICH WE HAVE ENVISIONED THIS SET OF SOLUTIONS:

Problems:

Presence of uncontrolled armed groups and antinational civilians in certain areas

Rural exodus, no schooling for girls, poverty rates on the rise

Lack of appropriate support in these areas

Impunity of civil and military perpetrators of rape who walk free while their victims watch

Lack of access to adequate primary care

Stigmatization of victims in all aspects of their lives

Lack of access to materials on maternal and infant health

Ignorance of subjects of STIs and HIV/AIDS

Complete ignorance of subjects of women’s rights, rights violations and ways to seek justice

No charges brought against alleged perpetrators of rape

Proposed solutions:

That peace be reinstituted everywhere in the DRCongo; that tranquility be returned to so all parts of the country to be made accessible; that the system of displacing people in their own country, in their own villages, be put to an end. That health clinics and centers be well equipped and provided with ambulances to save lives of people in critical condition in emergencies. That victims be guaranteed not to face stigmatization and to have their confidentiality maintained through awareness programs involving each and every person: local leaders, young people, and the rest of the community. That human rights development NGOs take care of the plaintiffs and guarantee their safety. That the collaboration between development NGOs, medical centers, local leaders, and community members be honest. In a word: that the participants be truly engaged in their battle, that there be harmony.

STORIES AND TESTIMONIES OF THE VICTIMS

These testimonies were collected from among my organization.

“My name is ----, I’m 15 years old. I was born into a polygamous family. My mom only gave birth to girls, and he hated her for this. He would never have the daughters educated because he has no interest in girl children. He remarried so he could have boy children from his second wife. Me and my 4 older sisters never had the chance to go to school. We worked in the fields with our mother to gather food, because Dad didn’t give us anything to eat. Finally, Dad no longer lives with Mom.

The Path to Participation Initiative from World Pulse and No Ceilings

Comments 11

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Alyssa Rust
Apr 30, 2015
Apr 30, 2015

Dear Bajira Chishuba,

Thank you so much for sharing and posting on the Path to Participation. I really enjoyed reading your post about these important topics. It sounds like you have some really powerful ideas and solutions and are doing some great work with your organization. I look forward to hearing more about the work that you are doing. Thank you again for your post.

Sincerely, Alyssa Rust 

BAJIRA CHISHUBA
May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015

Merci beaucoup pour votre soutien morale que vous nous donnez,pour ce faire nous ne manquerons pas de vous dire de nous reciproquer vos histoirs ,merci  et nous voir prochainement en ligne.

Nabiye Tal
May 02, 2015
May 02, 2015

Dear Bajira Chishuba,

Thank you so much for sharing your story, It is quite sad that in this present age, many still regard educating girls as waste of time and resources. its really sad, but just like you noted, all stakeholders must continue to intensify efforts towards educating girls. Thank you.

BAJIRA CHISHUBA
May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015

Merci beaucoup pour votre soutien morale que vous nous donnez,pour ce faire nous ne manquerons pas de vous dire de nous reciproquer vos histoirs ,merci et nous voir prochainement en ligne.

Ukhengching Marma
May 03, 2015
May 03, 2015

Hello Dear Bajira Chishuba,

I appreciate your effort for sharing the amazing story of yours regarding girls education and empowerment. You are a leader, please continue your dedication to empower and identify the factore to empower them. I know in many societies girls are considered as an "Object" which are supposed to provide to another families after her marriage. Educating the girls are not still seen as important as boys which is leading the communities to be underdeveloped. Many stakeholders should come forward take initiate to promote education in many remote areas.

Please keep continue your amazing works and share your thoughts in future too.

Love and respect from

Ukhengching Marma

Bangladesh 

BAJIRA CHISHUBA
May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015

Merci beaucoup pour votre soutien morale que vous nous donnez,pour ce faire nous ne manquerons pas de vous dire de nous reciproquer vos histoirs ,merci et nous voir prochainement en ligne.

Pushpa Achanta
May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015

Dear Bajira Chishuba,

I appreciate your detailed highlighting of many issues affecting girls and women - women worldwide face some of these challenges. It's impotant for you to continue writing in a bold manner.

Best, Pushpa

Julia O
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Bonjour Bajira, J'ai lu votre poste avec beaucoup d'intérêt. J'ai déja connu quelques des problemes pour des filles mais il y avait quelques que je n'ai pas donné beaucoup de pensées et c'était bien d'apprendre des nouvelles choses. Vous avez beaucoup des excellentes idées. Je suis d'accord que les femmes ont beaucoup de travail a faire pour changer les choses mais ce n'est pas simplement leur responsabilité. Les hommes doivent travailler et faire leur part aussi. Merci beaucoup pour partager. Meilleurs voeux, Julia

Lydia Martin
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Ma chère Bajira Chishuba,

Merci beaucoup d’avoir partagé vos idées si claires et si bien conçues.  Vous êtes vraiment une leader en devenir !  Mais je ne suis pas sûre que je suis tout à fait d’accord avec votre déclaration : « si ses inégalités persistent c’est à cause de nous femmes, parce que nous ne faisons pas un pas en avant ». Je pense plutôt que si !! les femmes sont en train de faire un pas en avant ; les femmes prennent l’action. Mais c’est un processus lent et difficile. Il faut comprendre la peur des victimes des viols, des femmes maltraitées, qui ne se font pas connaître, qui ne parlent pas à haute voix. Il faut les soutenir doucement, calmement, avant d’éclairer leur épreuve devant le monde, lentement mais sûrement. Nous exigeons la justice. Nous continuerons d’avancer, petit à petit, au fur et au mesure. Et nous avons besoin de l’une et l’autre en ce moment plus que jamais.

Merci encore d’avoir partagé votre message important. On vous écoute !

Chaleureusement, LightMyWay

(Lydia)

Lydia Martin
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

TRADUCTION /TRANSLATION:

EDUCATION, HEALTH, AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

Hello, my dear friends from World Pulse, I have been called to raise my voice and make my personal contribution to the call to action!!!!

Personally, my participation in putting an end to continuing inequalities between men and women today is this: If inequalities are persisting, it’s because of us women, because we are taking no steps forward to cross these boundaries that have for so long separated us from men. We’re like the old adage, which says that if a hen has been tied up to something for a long time, even once she’s untied, she forgets that she has been set free and can’t put a single foot forward for fear of being struck with a stick.

To overcome these obstacles through the full participation of women in my community, I’ve already taken the step of gathering a few women from my community and creating a women’s organization, called ASPIVG for short, which stands for Action for Social Promotion and Integration of Vulnerable Generations.

Regarding the status of women and girls and/or gender equality: Based on the statistics from my community, there are more men than women, and it’s the men who hold the main positions in all things. Then they’re even more invested with an egoistic and dictatorial mindset. Meanwhile, women, always expected to be submissive to men, stand idly by without knowing it or wanting it. Thus females have always remained inferior in all things.

Based on what I’ve just mentioned, the three areas that we’re trying to tackle have been negatively impacted by what we experience daily in our communities.

1. In the Education sector: the number of girls who finish primary and/or secondary school is much lower than the number of boys, because parents influence the girls not to continue their learning, saying that girls need only to learn how to cook. If fathers decide not to pay the school fees for their daughters, the daughters stay at home to watch the other children, and to work in the fields with their mothers.

2. In the Health sector: the maternal and infant mortality rates have risen as men have not rallied to take care of their wives. Suppose a man who is polygamous doesn’t really know how to care for his wife and/or get her follow-up care. Due to this, numerous women are dying during pregnancy or childbirth. Some women die during pregnancy or childbirth because they carry their pregnancies to term at home, as they have no financial means to check in to health facilities.

3. In the Gender-Based Violence sector: 1/3 of rape cases, whether physical or sexual abuse, are committed by husbands or partners. These cases persist and remain a global epidemic because there is no legal protection for the (surviving) victims.

There is no justice for the victims as vulnerable women, especially as in our communities, these vulnerable women have no recourse to justice. The organizations that have mobilized in the fight against gender-based violence are all on the verge of failure, because they waste all their energy identifying cases, trying to follow up on cases, attending cases, referring to other homes; but at the end of the day, they know they are doing unsuccessful work.

We have so many identified, referred, followed cases that have known one or all of these three questions. My vision to resolve these problems is this:

WE HAVE HIGHLIGHTED SOME MAJOR PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED TO WHICH WE HAVE ENVISIONED THIS SET OF SOLUTIONS:

Problems:

Presence of uncontrolled armed groups and antinational civilians in certain areas

Rural exodus, no schooling for girls, poverty rates on the rise

Lack of appropriate support in these areas

Impunity of civil and military perpetrators of rape who walk free while their victims watch

Lack of access to adequate primary care

Stigmatization of victims in all aspects of their lives

Lack of access to materials on maternal and infant health 

Ignorance of subjects of STIs and HIV/AIDS

Complete ignorance of subjects of women’s rights, rights violations and ways to seek justice

No charges brought against alleged perpetrators of rape

Proposed solutions:

That peace be reinstituted everywhere in the DRCongo; that tranquility be returned to so all parts of the country to be made accessible; that the system of displacing people in their own country, in their own villages, be put to an end. That health clinics and centers be well equipped and provided with ambulances to save lives of people in critical condition in emergencies. That victims be guaranteed not to face stigmatization and to have their confidentiality maintained through awareness programs involving each and every person: local leaders, young people, and the rest of the community. That human rights development NGOs take care of the plaintiffs and guarantee their safety. That the collaboration between development NGOs, medical centers, local leaders, and community members be honest. In a word: that the participants be truly engaged in their battle, that there be harmony.

STORIES AND TESTIMONIES OF THE VICTIMS

These testimonies were collected from among my organization.

“My name is ----, I’m 15 years old. I was born into a polygamous family. My mom only gave birth to girls, and he hated her for this. He would never have the daughters educated because he has no interest in girl children. He remarried so he could have boy children from his second wife. Me and my 4 older sisters never had the chance to go to school. We worked in the fields with our mother to gather food, because Dad didn’t give us anything to eat. Finally, Dad no longer lives with Mom.

Mauwa Brigitte
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Bajira,

Merci ma chère d’avoir partagé votre histoire qui est si inspirante pour l’inégalité de sexe mais les femmes doivent travailler au-delà de 120 % d’effort pour atteindre le niveau de l’homme dans la société, je fais allusion à votre adage «  si la poule a été longtemps liée et attachée quelque part, même si on la délie, elle oublie qu’elle est déjà libérée, ne peut pas faire un pas sans qu’elle ne soit chassé par un coup de bâton. » les femmes et filles assumaient à l’éducation doivent aider les autres femmes à participer massivement au développement de votre communauté. Continuer votre travail.