Yesterday, was invited to speak at a Christian gathering, all registered participants were church workers and they were leaders from various churches, about 14 churches. The speaker before me, is a Pastor that oversees a larger district. In his speech, he spoke about the attitude of a church leader and he encouraged them to be a man of one woman.
He digressed to the issue of violence agains women, and as began his statement, he said he felt sorry for Afican women because marriage is of a great disadvantage for women, he went further to say that he was sorry for girls and he knew that the situation will continue in Africa because no man would love to leave such a privileged position.
The audience began to feel sorry for women and they shook their heads for the plight of women. I am convinced that the Pastor is a wife batterer.
When it was my tirn to talk, I sought the audience's indulgence to digress, I asked if the women were sorry for being women, they all said no, I turned to the men in the audience, they were about thirty in number and I asked if they were sorry to have daughters, as children, they said no, and i asked why they all shook heads when the first speaker said he felt sorry for women in Africa? They kept silence, and I went further to ask if anyone ever regretted giving birth to daughters, they all shouted, No, we love our daughters.
The Pastor's speech gave me the opportunity to begin my session on gender based violence instead of the Life skills topic that I was given and it became and enriching moment that made other church leaders in the audience to want to replicate the programme in their own churches.
Violence against women on the pulpit must be addressed in Arica if we are to move forward, wife batterers should feel sorry for themselves not for the women. It is a shame for a Pasor to come up to say that Africa women will cntinue to suffer because of our culture instead of looking for an end to women's plight as regards violence against women.