Women have been fighting to be free, free of the tie-downs that make life unbearable. Freedom to choose, to love, to be happy. Once upon a time....even freedom to vote, to drive a car.
For some, dying would have been easierthan living through what women had to endure for the past century.
We have achievedwhat our forefathers never imagined possible, we survived a sentence worse than death and we became free women.
However, despite these achievements, we cannot say it’s rosy for the majority as the situations of women are different in the different facets of the globe.
In the Beijing Declaration adopted in 1995 by the Fourth World Conference on Women, participating Governments expressed their commitment “to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of humanity”.
We must focus on the stark reality that women suffer disproportionately from poor access to health services, to victimization by harmful traditions, despite these promises.
Because the status of women many countries is so many centuries behind the modern world that it is hard for othersto visualize.
A girl/lady who worked in a house i lived, for about four year came visiting with her two obviously sick children, (she does not realize) from a village that is without electricity, much more clean water.
In the village, when a girl turns 13, she is sent to work as a domestic help, goes through the worst degradation (in most cases, which I am a witness), to save up for a marriage ceremony.
According to the person that ‘shares’ them out to various houses far from their communities, the money is not to be paid directly to the girls but to guardians or in some instances, to the girl’s parents. She has no right to spend a dime and she does not.
They purportedly save the total (which has been increased to as much as N10, 000, or $35, depending on the state you’re sent to) marry her off at 20 years (none of them knows how old they are).
I witness one being flogged with a rod-like cane because she mistakenly dropped an empty tray. Same girl was given a thunderous slap on her face because there was a water-ring on the dining table and her ‘boss’ was in a bad mood.
Today she’s married with two children and because she came to my house without her husband’s consent, she will be flogged by the husband mercilessly, according to her.
She tells me it’s common in her village, that a girl’s parent encourages husbands to beat, some are beaten to unconsciousness.
I asked what then will you do, and she replied, “It’s just beating, I’m use to it. Our parents say we should stay in our husband’s house even if they beat us to death.
Sadly, tomorrow she abruptly returns home because her husband summons and she know her body is in for a good thrashing, “my father will surely join my husband in beating me, it’s no problem, my mother is going through the same.”
The story of this one girl resonant in her village of 5000 people, majority of whom are women but victimized.
How can I help her, when she is unaware she’s being victimized?