How it feels being a woman in a developing country

Posted June 11, 2019 from Mauritius

People in developing countries face many hardships, especially in terms of economic prospects, employment and gender equality.  Our political system is fraught with corrupt and immoral individuals, women are underrepresented in parliament and women's issues are rarely ever addressed.  I think it's hypocritical when gender equality is pushed to the sidelines to make way for other issues since the very foundation of societies rests on the labor of women.  Without women, you don't have the foundation for the future generation.  Without women, the evolutionary course of life is stopped and society naturally finds itself in peril.

That this truth has not yet reached the ears of policy makers is not a surprise.  We live in a world that is rotating around the ego of men and that ego is something that's very real.  Since time immemorial, men have been vying for ultimate power, killing each other in the process whilst women tended for the future generation.  Men are impetuous, statistically more violent and irrational and yet all the power resides in their hands.  These men couldn't care less about women's issues and I would opine that they do not care about anything other than power.

In my 24 years on this planet, I've come across various kinds of men but most of these men believe that the world owes them something.  That it is very natural for them to ask and get.  That women are rude and crude for demanding the same things as men.  Societies that are patriarchal in nature impart a tacit lesson, that men are authority figures no matter their age or status, and that women ought to fall in line for their own good.  Women are called ''sluts'' and ''whores'' liberally by these men who think that the opposite gender isn't just opposite, it's inferior.

The previous government had a philandering sex-addict as their leader, who once called his colleague a ''whore'' and as always the ever-so sympathetic media brushed it off.  It is suffocating to know that there's no one in parliament to fight for equal rights.  In 2019, most developed countries offer a comprehensive plan for reproductive rights but women here, are expected to be brood mares for the state.  Girls as young as 13 years old are forced to give birth to pander to an autocratic belief that they need to face the consequences of being sexually active or desirable when the men who raped or abused them are the ones defiling them.

I'm aware that change can be incremental in countries like mine but I think it's of the utmost importance that people like myself air our thoughts and beliefs so that women facing these injustices do not feel like they're alone.  A journalist died a few years ago while trying to induce a miscarriage illegally.  The term they focused on was ''illegal'' and the humanity of this woman who died trying to control her own body was snatched away.

Any society that refuses to grant equal rights cannot be described as being democratic, let alone developed.  Economic prospects, labor rights and corruption are the consequences of the same autocratic system that categorically turns a blind eye to the pleas of their female constituents.

Comments 6

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Jill Langhus
Jun 11
Jun 11

Hello LuxG,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your powerful voice, thoughts and post. I hear you! It must be very frustrating to live in this environment and culture. Are you saying there aren't any promising initiatives or any glimmers of hope in your country toward equality?

Jun 11
Jun 11

Thanks for writing I sympathies with you on your post. I hope you are doing very well? Take care

Asaad Ali
Jun 11
Jun 11

almost international countries situations is same , specially east north and Africa .
but we are trying hardly to keep our humanity and ethical behavior street to live right life .
be stronger and never give up for any bad environment around you .
thank you for sharing your story .
stay safe and peaceful .

Beth Lacey
Jun 12
Jun 12

Thank you for sharing your thoughts

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 12
Jun 12

Dear LUXG,
It is so good to know that you are there in Mauritania challenging this old attitude that for some made up and self serving notion, men are still teaching each other and women that they have this right to be in control. I can so appreciate these words of yours: "It is suffocating to know that there's no one in parliament to fight for equal rights", and your exacting message that "Any society that refuses to grant equal rights cannot be described as being democratic". I hope you find ways to make your voice heard in your country, and that you find others who are also courageous enough to challenge the status quo with you. What we do have through World Pulse is each other. We are challenging these outdated ideas everywhere now. Your voice adds strength to what we are working on together, as I hope you gain strength by knowing we are in this together.
In sisterhood,

Hello, LuxG,

Oh, this is sad. But I love how powerful this piece is. May you continue to challenge the status quo with words. May you inspire women in your country to rally behind you. Thank you for sharing!