No wife batterers allowed!!
In a recent Kenyan parliamentary debate on appointment of the chair of an interim election body, a female parliamentary rejected a nominee on the grounds that he batters his wife, an announcement that was received with booing from the male-dominated parliament.
I sat there wondering to myself why the house reacted like that. Is it because it is full of men who thought she was being fickle minded. Is it because wife battery is no longer considered a crime in our society? Whatever the reason, my first reaction was, why are they booing? Perhaps this is an indication on why the Kenyan parliament has been dragging its feet when it comes to passing legislation on women.
I get concerned at how casually we treat wife battery. When a neighbour decides to turn his wife into a drum at 8.00pm in the night, we turn a deaf ear and mind our own business, and worse still is if you report the matter to the police, the typical response at least in my country Kenya would be “it’s none of your business, that’s their own private concern”.
Wait a minute, it becomes my business when you turn a fellow human being into a football, kicking her pregnant tummy until she loses the child; it becomes everyone’s business if you beat your wife to death because she didn’t warm the food hot enough!
I recently had a very interesting conversation with two women on this, one pointed out to me that perhaps our cultures (especially African) entertain this behaviour. She said that from where she comes from, they believe that if the husband does not beat you once in a while then he no longer loves you; beating is a sign of love! She went on to say that some women would even dare or tease their husband into beating them. We sure have different perceptions of what love is!
On the same note, there are those women who are quick to rebuke women who get out of abusive relationships. They tell you that, that is how marriage is and you just need to persevere! But who said that’s how marriage is? Marriage is a commitment to love and cherish one another in sickness and in health etc etc. What if the woman preservers straight to her grave?
Women, it is time to move out when your husband raises his hand on you. You are no lesser being than he is, you are his partner. You cannot stay there and risk you life because of the children. Find some place to seek help, today it might be one slap but tomorrow it might be a kick six feet under.
Back to my female parliamentarian, I agree with you, no wife batterer should hold public office and as a Kenya woman who pays taxes, I applaud you for standing up for all those women who are beaten by their spouses.If it is true that indeed the said gentleman who is also a custodian of law in Kenya beats his wife...then shame on him and no he will not be paid by hard earned cash!
It is time to speak up, loudly for everyone to know that you cannot beat up a woman and get away with it, whether it is your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother or daughter. Think about it. This is my opinion…am waiting for yours!