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International Women's Day! A living Hell for some Women.

I sat on this day in my little box-like office, where i work more like a volunteer (no salary). looking through the list in which i had registered women's group who intended to take part on the March Past on March 8th 2012, I was amazed at the number of registered groups. Before i could look through the list and the interesting names of groups ( like conscious sisters, encouraging ladies, farmers wives, star women, enlightened girls, women of substance), I was frequently interrupted by another woman or group of women who have come to register their groups. By the end of the day, i realized i had registered 310 groups who were anxiously waiting to parade the Bamenda Commercial Avenue on March 8th. Many more were expected to register though. I did my best to tell them to "enjoy responsibly." As they made their way out of my box office that contained a small plain four leg table, I say to myself "God help the women of Cameroon."

This took me back to Women's Day 2011. It was a colorful evening after Match Past in the town of Buea. Women were in their hundreds gathered in a celebration ground awaiting a famous female Cameroonian musician to animate for the night. I sat in my own corner with my friend over a bottle of beer each. All of a sudden a sharp cry came from some direction and crowds rushed there to see what the matter was. Can you guess what happened? A woman's husband came from home and met his wife celebrating with other women, and he decided to broke his wife's head with the bottle of 'Orange Juice' that she was drinking. Before we got there, this woman has bled so badly, and she was lying on the floor half dead. well wishers rushed her to the hospital - I prayed in my heart that she survived the violence. The violent husband said "my wife has not come home to serve my evening meal." I looked at my watch and it was 7:40.

We resumed our sits and continued drinking. Before we could sip our bottles, there was commotion in another angle. We rushed again to this battle field. This time, a guy was beating her girlfriend for drinking in a public place. This girl's new braids were uprooted by her boyfriend leaving her whole face red and swollen. The guy dragged her towards his car. Thank God well wishers were always around to rescue the already battered women.

One by one, women started leaving, that they are going home to avoid embarrassment from their partners (since the musician took to long to show up). Some stayed, and some drank to stupor . Some danced to the extent that they carried their Kabba (traditional Cameroonian gown worn by women) to their heads exposing the color of their pants. Some women shouted "it is our day, we should do all what we want today." Others say "today is the day for our husbands to do all the house work." Others say "out of 365 days in a year we have just one day, so lets enjoy." It was a fun filled evening.

Before the long awaited musician could come, I received a telephone call "Nakinti please come home, Ni will kill me." That was my neighbor, Celine calling me that her husband is beating her for coming home at 9:00pm. I could not imagine. In that confusion, the musician came in, and in that excitement of her arrival, i was annoyingly going home to meet my battered neighbor.

I got home, Celine has been rushed to the hospital for a broken arm. I had to rush to the hospital to spend the night with her at the hospital. She couldn't sleep because of pains. We sat discussing about the matter until we were stopped by a radio comment.

Horrible! A journalist of a radio station was announcing the death of a woman whose husband beat her mercilessly in the morning for refuting his orders. The husband of this woman got the wife well beaten at the roadside as she waits to take a taxi to the match past ground. The said woman died on the spot and was taken to the mortuary. The husband was taken to the police station for interrogation. The question is 'will justice be served?" We all know the kind of country we are living in.

This has been the characteristics of March 8th in Cameroon. This year, I have been praying for the women of Cameroon to thread with caution. More meaning should be attached to this day. Justice should take its course in our country. For there is no justification for BATTERY.

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Comments

Leina's picture

Dear Nakinti, Thank you for

Dear Nakinti,
Thank you for this beautiful piece.It reminds me of home.I am glad there are women like you out there willing to raise their voices for the others!I also pray that women should embrace responsible behavior as they feast during this period so that these calamities don`t repeat themselves.You write so well.If you are interested contact me through this e mail for a writing opportunity chileina17@yahoo.com.
Blessings!
Leina

Lylinaguas's picture

Beautifully Written

It's so tragic how women can be treated with so much violence. Whatever the reason, violence is certainly not the answer. But when society or government condones it and does not put its foot down to prevent this from happening, violators will simply think this is acceptable in society. It's critical for women to empower themselves and be able to stand up on their own and not be dependent on their partners. The first step is always the hardest but together, with organized women's groups supporting women, the violent acts can be prevented somehow.

You wrote this so beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

Lylin

Nakinti's picture

Thanks Lylin Aguas

Lylin, imagine a world where women are able to beat their husbands too. It will certainly be a babaric and up-side-down world. Truly, violence is certainly not the answer. Thanks for the beautiful comments. You are certainly a feminist, one who doesn't condone with acts of human rights abuse. Thanks, you have encouraged me so dearly.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

megha's picture

We should RESIST

You know it all is very disgusting.But I think women should learn to defend themselves.Women are not really so weak as the society and other factors make us.Women must learn a little bit of some kind of martial arts or something like that so that such husbands or boyfriends can taste their own medicine.

megha

Nakinti's picture

Hahaha!

Hahahaha! Megha, i agree with you 100%. They really don't know how it hurt. I think a woman who is constantly battered should do this for me. She should pick up a hard strong whip on a fine day, and then when this barbaric guy is relaxing, watching TV or whatever, give him a solid whip on his back, and then see how he reacts. Then tell him "that is how i used to feel when ever you beat me up." Hahahaha!

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Carrie Lee's picture

Standing with you

We will be standing with you, along with women all over the world on International Women's Day. I will hold this story you told in my heart, as I walk atop a bridge as part of the global campaign, Join me on the Bridge (joinmeonthebridge.org), to call for an end to violence against women and to symbolize that together we build bridges of peace and hope for the future.
We are the architects of new kinds of bridges- the invisible ones that connect us. Thank you for connecting me to the women of Cameroon,
Carrie

Nakinti's picture

Hey Carrie!

Dear dear Carrie,
I am delighted to know that there are women like you who are taking their time to fight for other women. Thank you for the spirit. Keep it up. I am obviously joining you on the bridge, together we are going to walk atop this bridge, campaigning against violence against women. It is high time we put these chauvinists on their sits, and talk some sense into their skulls. Carrie, our fundamental human rights and freedoms must be respected as women. From Cameroon this minute I shout"
"NO TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN."

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

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