Most people think Feminists hate men, right? Well we hope that after reading this, you will understand why we are feminists. Our names are Namaggwa Joan (19) and Nassanga Clare (21) and we come from Uganda, We started our activism against women violence in September 2020 after witnessing our relative go through one of the most painful experience in her life. She was physically beaten by her own husband. We thought it was the first time that she had been down this road, but it was not. We got to learn that this was a routine in her home, a place where she is supposed to find peace and joy .This unfolded us to the violence that a large number of women face in society. An injustice taken to be the ‘new normal’. And if she was going through this, we wondered how many women out there in Africa, and the rest of the world were subjected to such violence at the hands of men. In many countries, women’s rights are violated. This must change and the change must start now.
The World Bank defined violence against women as a global pandemic 1 in 3 women experience in their lifetime. That means for every daughter, mother, niece, sister, the odds are not in their favor. This violence against women ranges from physical domestic violence, girl child marriage, child prostitution, sexual harassment to flogging and sexual slavery. It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives. ( https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures
Countries with the highest level of violence towards women have something in common. They have a low rate of women education. Women are not educated as much as the men. This means they depend heavily on the men for their financial needs due to the inability to get a reliable source of income to meet their needs and individually provide for their families. This alongside the patriarchy and cultural norms where the man is seen as the predominant figure in the households giving him express “authority’’ over the women. Early child marriages where the girl child is married off before age by her own family owing to the fact that it is stricken by poverty. The girl child is perceived as a treasure through which they will earn bride price. This leaves her with no say in her supposedly new marriage and at the mercy of the man. All these elements provide a gap for injustices to the women and the denial of their rights.
All women and girls who have faced brutality because of their gender are left with deep psychological wounds. They have higher rates of depression. The female rape victims have low self-esteem knowing that they have no right to defend themselves and fight for their rights because society has made that clear to them. In the long run, such women end up committing suicide because they see no other way out of such a predicament but to take their own life. The few women who have got the strength to escape from their home prisons with their children are rendered homeless and are subjected to hunger. They have no resources to buy a home or food for their children. They are unable to support themselves because they depended heavily on their spouses for all their needs. The children who grow up witnessing violence towards their mothers are reported to have poor social functioning skills and social isolation. This affects their ability to perform highly in school.
We will continue to strike as a way to create awareness for all the women out there, t
o encourage them and tell them that they have rights and to fight for them, to stand up against the violence towards women. Our societal systems have to be corrected. We need to see women education promoted and funded. Through education, women independence is able to be achieved. The laws against women violence are weak and poorly implemented. They have to be made practical in accordance to the relevant countries and encourage women to report such cases to the authorities with the hope that justice will be served. We need to set up systems that encourage girls and women to speak up, systems that are able to track violence from school and home as well. Human rights are women’s rights and Women’s rights are Human rights. .
TWITTER - @joanandclare1