I am a woman who has recently found my worth. I am one who now knows that I don't have to depend on anyone or be tied to any person to be worthy or successful. I am still taking baby steps but I know and I believe I will get there. All my life I was raised to believe that as a female I was second to males anywhere. I was taught at a tender age to be submissive to men no matter their status and age. As a woman I am just a piece of property to be owned and used anyhow man, to be seen and not heard, a symbols of weakness . Right in our families, we witness a marginalization and limitation of humans , not for lack of intelligence or ability but because of gender and we see a category of individuals being treated as lords of the manor - people to be served while the other category are raised to believe that it is their role to serve. I am not saying my culture and religion are bad but rather those who interpret it for us sometimes don't tell it as it is. I have suffered in the name of my culture but more so my religion, my perpetrators justified their oppressive physical and emotional actions against me through religious scriptures. This they did by strategically interpreting it to justify their abuse towards me as a woman as a result I have lost my children and suffered in the process. I was married to my first husband, an old man, older than my father, but i accepted because at my age then 26 years old and unmarried I was a shame to my family and deemed to be an educated prostitute. I agreed to the marriage as an obedient and dutiful daughter.
Little did I know that I was entering hell
My husband mistreated me so much. He was violent and had an extremely bad temper. He would lock me in the house literally and ask the gate-man to watch that i don't step out of the house in to the compound. If I did then he would physically abuse me. The abuse was so much that I lost my three month old pregnancy. He didn't take the miscarriage well despite the fact that he had directly caused it but rather he accused me of miscarrying and I was further beaten, I ended up having a broken arm and three broken ribs. I had nowhere to run, no one to turn to. My religion says I have to submit to my husband, my parents advised me to listen to my husband. He would beat me for not eating enough or for eating too much. I would be beaten for laughing when watching the television or speaking to my in-laws without his permission. i remember an incident in which he hit me in town in front of so many people because I excused myself after sneezing. Such was life! My child too was not spared and he would pee on himself whenever his father came back or run to hide in the bedroom. When he died! I cried out of happiness knowing that i was fee of him but fate played a cruel hand on me. My in-laws took away my children and relocated them because I refused to be inherited. My father and family rejected me. My friends left me and the men that I knew preyed after me. Not long after this I got married to an Imam and my father was happy. But then I more or less experienced the same. In y second marriage, I found myself slaving fr my husband's family. I had no right to my salary, he would inspect my phone log everyday and even refuse that i go to work whenever he felt like. When the project I was working on ended my husband changed for the worse. He refused to support us financially, I had to get the supplemental flour given to people with HIV/AIDS as nutritional supplement to feed my children as it was free. This despite the fact that we don't have that condition but rater to survive because once more my whole family had rejected us again. I thought of becoming a christian but then I saw how Christian women too suffered in their own ways, so I decided to change myself! I have decide to stand up for me and my children. I have decided to not believe what I have believed in from when I as young. I have decided to focus on myself and my children, to believe in me and my strength and that I do not need anyone to be complete or to live rather To stand up and fight for what I know is right by me and my children and not be defined by the community, my culture r religion. I am now free! Free to be me ! Free to live! Free to make my environment safe and protect my children and I!