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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.

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Andrea Arzaba's picture

Question!

Could u explain more about your description of a woman "as an organized man"?
Thank you :)

Floe's picture

Woman as an organised man

Hey Andrea

what I mean is that having a woman in the house brings more order than having a man alone. If you look at most single headed families being run by a woman in most cases you will not notice the gap, i.e. there's no father in the family or stuff like that. When it comes to taking care of bills and the taking care of the house, women are the best. Even though when a woman is frustrated sometimes they might lose focus but they quickly gain their composure and stand up to the occassion but with a man it's a different kind of story because you will find that the man will resort to booz and womanising just to take the stress away.

JT Long's picture

Thank you

Thank you for raising such an important issue.

JT

telling stories; creating communities

jap21's picture

Hi Floe

Your entry left me with my mouth open, without knowing what to say. It is just that we know there is abuse against women all over the world, but we do not know the exact extent of it. This is what makes web 2.0 worth the time and effort to explore it.

I am from Bolivia, a country in the heart of South America, and we never hear anything about Swaziland. This is why I am so thrilled to have you in this beautiful community. Please write a lot about your country. This way we will get to know it and we will love it more (I always say that one does not, and cannot, love what one does not know).

Thanks for showing your voice to the world.

Love,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

Emie Zozobrado's picture

So sad!

Hi Floe! The realities of women suffering is real sad. And the painful fact is that it does not happen in some isolated cases in very poor communities in the third or fourth world. Unfortunately, male dominion and ruthlessness cut across color or creed or status. We hear a lot of serial rapists who are international celebrities and members of affluent families - even in the first world countries, of blood brothers raping their own sister, of fathers, grandfathers and uncles molesting and raping their own girls. If we search the internet at this very moment, there are gory news about male brutality over the "weaker sex" somewhere ... beating, cheating, rape ... all the evils that men do to someone who is the very image of his mother - the one who brought him to this world and gave him his life.

My country has had two women presidents ... and we have several women sitting in our executive, judiciary and legislature ... and lots in the corporate hierarchy. And yet even with this development, my people still cry to the heavens for the welfare and safety of women and girls. The alarming thing is that even her own home can be a dangerous place for a wife, a sister and a daughter. It's really unfair! And when will the world ever learn ... that without women the world can no longer carry on with its own life!

Lisa T's picture

Comments

Hi Floe,
I enjoyed reading your post and was drawn in by the intense issues you shared. I think it's great that you shared issues that directly affect your country. I was wondering how Web 2.0 excites you to share these stories. I like that you wrote about a story that moves you and issues that inspire you to speak out. I was wondering how you see Web 2.0 providing solutions for the issues you write about. For instance, Web 2.0 provides you with the forum to shed light on these issues. I am also curious about how Web 2.0 empowers you and how you see it continuing to empower you. You write very descriptively about a severe act of violence, are there other issues you hope to write about through Web 2.0? I think you have a catchy title, which is great to draw in your readers. I think you can share more personal details on why you feel so strongly about the issues that you write about and how Web 2.0 can help to solve those problems, specifically in Swaziland.

I look forward to reading more of your work and learning more about Swaziland.
-Lisa

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