LIFE AS A WOMAN IN SWAZILAND - WOMEN THOU ART CHAINED
She was called woman. A woman according to me is an organized man. A home without a woman is a mess and it will just be a house but put a woman in that place and you will find an organized place full of peace, order, love and harmony. When we look at this biblically, a woman was made from a man’s rib, this means firstly that she is part of the man and practically it does not make sense to hurt oneself. Secondly, being from the rib which is closer to the heart means that she has to be loved. Thirdly, being from the rib which is under or next to the arm means that she has to be protected. Lastly, as a rib, medically when a rib is broken it can not be put in a cast but it’s left to heal on its own. The same applies to a woman. When she is broken, she is left to heal and she is fast to forgive and move on. Honestly sometimes I feel that the world would be a better place with women in power especially when we look at the incidences of civil wars, genocides and corruption.
Having said this, one would find that the situation is the direct opposite here in this polygamous nation of Swaziland. Women and girls are brutalized left, right and centre. They just don’t have a say in any matters concerning what is happening in communities or country at large. Of course there are organizations which are fighting for the causes of women, like Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGA), Women and Law in Southern Africa, Swaziland Chapter (WLSA), Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross Society, Coordinating Assembly of NGOs (CANGO), Intamakuphila Women’s Organization, Women’s Desk, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ntongontongo Association of Vocational Training for Rural Women and Save the Children Fund sponsored by NGO’s. With all these in place one would find that little is being done to address what is going on the ground. Men are just men and they seem to be getting away with a lot of abuse against women.
Take for example a case where an uncle brutalizes a girl child, 17 years old. To go to the extent of whipping the girl with a sjambok all over the body and pouring salt on the wounds during the process, (this is not a joke or exaggeration), shows that as a man the uncle thought that he has a right to do it. They actually claim that beating a woman show that you really love them……. What the hell is love??? The newspaper headline went screaming – MONSTER UNCLE BRUTALISES GIRL (17), make matters worse no one came to the rescue of this girl. He even dragged the girl around the homestead where they stayed in full view of all family members and neighbours. Below is a caption from the website of a local newspaper showing the picture that brutalized girl. Nothing has been done to the brutal uncle and he is still at large, now believed to be in South Africa. To add salt to injury, the grandmother (the mother to the man) of the girl did not do anything but just said the girl deserved what she got. Really the saying of spare the rod and spoil the child is being taken advantage of. Even if the said uncle was disciplining the child this just went too far.
Another case is still pending in the courts where a certain man, serial killer and rapist, if I may say is still in detention after raping and killing more than 30 women and girls. This man is said to be living in luxury at the rate payers’ expense. What is baffling is that even the powers that be are not saying anything about this case which has been dragging for more than 10 years. Is it because the people that were victims of this man were non significant to society or it is because the dead have no voice.