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Building Girls, Repairing Women

As young girls who are caught up in between the old andnew generation girls of my age have found very many challenges in manging relationships. our parens are not practically culturally attached yet they would wish us to believe that they are acultural. At 19 i met this young man looking enterprising and agreed immedicately to found a home. hardly had i been culturally prepared for mariage and to make matters worse had been in a single sex school for high school. i always wish that my parnts had had a time to talk to me about the challenges we are likely to face in marriage so that when i go i could actually have gone itno marriage with a gait and soem idea what was expectdof me. so iwas never bult to maange marriage as a girl. Here i come and in my first year had produced and next year. ihad never had any trainig in lif skills, while i was confident as person sometimes chalegning theis man ovr family issues became tough. however when i clocked 32 i decided to return to school. do you knoewhat prompted me i landed a memonrandum of assocaition that declared all theswaet /property and entire livelihood assets under the ownership of my husband, his mother and my two sons excluding me and my only daughter. i asked myself what can i own and no one steal, i thought, 'girl go backto school'. I was so trusting that i asked him to provide me alittle money to buy application forms (10 dollar equivalent) to undertake a postgrduate course. i had invested all my youth and my salary from teaching for twelve years, i had been foolish, had never saved for a new day. Since my parents are still together, i will also surely die with my man. When he refused my parents provided me the money and i successfully applied. i informed my husband first for sponsorship but he refused. He said i find me a sponsor. my parents and sisters anbrothers agreed to contribute. a week or twointo the cousre the man started to behave roudy, locking meup not to goto school. he asked me to choose between himor the family. i said i would not once again forgo my studies, previousy had abandoned business becuase of this very utlimatum. i realised this man was not feeling that i should improve my status that would usher in higher development indicators.what happened thenhe had a seriesof reporting me to police, friends gathering and i insisted i leave school which irefused. I was in and out of home now and them for batttering, chasing out of the house at night - my 4 year old would give me his blanket to face the cold. I thought he would change. He arranged and called his family gathering in my marital place. When i arrived at home only to find a whole village gathered. he said, 'this woman does what ever she likes she no longer listens to me, she wants to kill me and the children, she hates my whole family and am tired of her' my father in law asked, do you have any thing to say? i have nothing to say unless this is for reconcilitation! 'we are tired of you Flavia, leave our home, you told my wife, my other wife had died of AIDs, in fact we have your things here we dont want you in our family', my brother in law retorted. this ws a fat he was decievign his new wife the old wife had died of an accident when she had actually died of HIV. As i speak now this brother in law is dead from denial that he was also HIV positive despite all the signs. I realised it was a conspiracy.
i gained courage i asked my husband, 'is it true what your brother said'. He said yes. i thentold the gathering how iwas thankful that this man had surendered me when i was still alive bearing inmind allthe torture i had been through for 12 years. i then told the commmunity that its fine since my parents are still alive and would clean me if i got malaria bearing in mind that me and my husband had knowm we were HIV positve since 1994. 'you are mad', he shouted caught off guard by my disclosure to the village. i had made my point and everyone started asking is it true i said yes and i demanded have my children and my personal effects. before that i asked them to perform the cultural tradition of taking me back to may parents and decalare am not fit to be awoman, the leaders a greed. However 9 km formthis village adn 40 km on to my ancestral home on a saturday at 5pm in heavy rain in a village-this man dumped me along the road and left me to the world. To Gods grace i got transport and arrived home at 10pm. My parents were dumbfounded but had me there.istarted the process of seeking custody of my three children aged 2 and half, 7 years adn 11 years. my biggest disappointment in all this was the women lawers who let me down. the case dragged in court for 2 years until my immunity dropped to 89 CDcells. i realised i may die and leave he very children am dyong to have. i left the caepending and todate have not followed it up. Remember i didnt contest property but i worked hard and secured a plot and built me ashelter. Todate all my children are with me but the man is aloof, cant support at all. The God that gavethem tome and the life i have will provide for them. i hate going through courts and usually coursts require one ot be loaded. I was never buld as agirl but todate am a repaired woman, we need more expereincesharing to touch theo others who think they cant make it. Laws must be enforced to ensure that the vulnerable are protected. The irony is that while i was never built as a girl for marriage i was built for survival since i was educated. I have been able to secure a modest livelihood without depending on any other man. Also to build my girl i have remarried to ensure my daughter knows there are many good men out there, i also married because i need a companion to take care of my emotional needs and i his in future when the children are of age and leave us, i also at the back of my mind married so that this man kills all the ideas of ever coming back, or the children asking for reunion, and finally to challenge culture that even when divorced women can still get married and its not their fault that marriages fail as often it is presumed that all wrongs are because of women. For some reason am repaired and my daughter is in the process of being build to prepare for the future. Yes it is possible to build your delicate daughter, sister now and repair your mother, sister or daughter in challenging relationships. es you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments

Rochelle White's picture

Thank you

Thank you for sharing your story! It is amazing how far you have come. Keep moving forward and never give up. You seem to be a resilient woman. I pray that God continues to bless you with strenght, courage, and wisdom. You are very right about preparing our girls to grow into women. They must be taught their rights as human beings as well as the fact the they are precious.

Best

Rochelle

Deqa's picture

Amazing Post

Such a strong and courageous woman. I do agree with you that girls need to be prepared for the marriage institution, as well as for life. Girls should never abandon their hopes and dreams just because they got married. I am glad that you made it through and i salute you for been so strong and determined to turn your life around and succeed despite the challenges. You proved once more that women are surely strong.

Sefakor Abusah's picture

i congratulate you Flavia

congatulations Flavia for being able to stand your grounds and giving yourself education at the long run.I really admire your strength .
peace
Sefakor

Sefakor Abusah's picture

i congratulate you Flavia

congatulations Flavia for being able to stand your grounds and giving yourself education at the long run.I really admire your strength .
peace
Sefakor

Thank you so much Flavia, this is a lesson for all the working class women or educated ones. is good for a woman to build her capacity and end up independent. if at all the man was supporting you for your education the moment his parents took their position in furthering your education my sister you were almost done.

but with the support of your biological parents your dreams come true, so keep up the spirit and not let your only girl child to be another mother's boy child a slave.

let us (all the women) say no to oppression.

sarjo

There was a woman who always beat her chest for trusting her husband. she always praise sing that the man was fair and honest to her. There was a day the woman was lying in her bed room complaining of tiredness because of work load from office. she was also operating a study circle with women groups she had some furniture in the office the husband uses this office as a brothel. each time the man is less busy he will come early from his work place asking for one little thing after the other.the couple are having two foster children, the other girl the mother works with the wife of the man as a maid/house help. the man will buy some nice clothes for these children and the maid always thank the man for what he is doing for the daughter.

at some point this maid will stay late in the house if the madam travels, the other foster girl was smart she is observant.each time the man give her some gifts she will not accept it and she was brand as the bad girl.

The kind and sexy girl was the one the husband of the woman use to send and some times will accuse the other one of not serious in her education. after some time the bad girl caught the man with his own secretary in the madams bed room.

He tries every thing possible to cut her sponsorship and send her to her parents. The one they taught is smart and clever the man was dating with her and until there was a time the wife cannot do anything about it but for her she was covering the husband.
but the day the mother of the girl who was also sleeping with the man came and met the man was making love to her own daughter.

The poor woman was shocked and fell down, the man is free but the mother and the daughter continued to point causing fingers to each other. for a woman to be financially stable can reduce her chances of violation.

sarjo

katina maria's picture

We must lean from each other

Dear Flavia
Thanks for sharing this wonderfull story with us, you see at the end of the day women Globaly have the same problems and chalenges,but iff its share we learn from each other lets take hands and minds, read and share our experience but most of all our achievements that will make the next generation of women our daughthers stronger. Viva to strong women

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thank you for standing up

Thank you so much for such an inspiration story. Your story is very touching and i totally agree with you that we have to train our children about what life is all about. It is not enough to send them to school, we have to teach them about life, things like marriage and how to treat one another in life is very important. I grew up with both my parents until my father was killed when i was 16 years. My father was very open with us and he always told us what to expect in life. He was so free with us to the point that he one day called me aside and told me if i ever got into a situation where i had to have sex i should be well prepared and ensure that the person i want to have sex with was tested. He told me this when i was in senior two and this scared me so much but it always rang in my head and i was very cautious because i knew that i could either get pregnant or contract HIV/AIDS. This is something my mother has never told me. So i think we should be able to teach our children and all those in our midst that life is not all about education and getting well paying jobs but also how you treat people and how you relate to them. Thank you Flavia and i hope to be reading more of your posts. Stay blessed my dear sister.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Kika Sylvie Katchunga's picture

La femme la plus forte et

La femme la plus forte et courageuse merci de votre histoire et je prie a mon Dieu des vous aide a transfomer votre vie et à réussir malgré les difficultes :soient toujour forte et mon Dieu faira une chose pour toi merci

sylvie

Such a brave girl. Kudos. it is not easy in anyway at all. You have a very strong spirit of survival and had actually made up your mind on the course of action to take before they asked you out. I will continue to encourage people like you who takes their future into their hands without waiting for anyone to fight for you.

Kudos and i pray that God will see you through and your children will also be provided for with the assistance of your family. i am sure they will survive.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative
Lets keep the light shining

hayibo safiatou's picture

courage

you are such a brave girl i think you are among those who did not accept defeat keep going it shall be well with you you are such a great woman an example for the that matter.but please if you are married without any consideration be sure your life will be miserable so please fellow women mariage too is a part of our life and be a good wife too is our duty so we have to prepare ourselves for marige too.moreover dont forget that we are call to become a wife

I am so inspired after reading this and you are one of those women I consider my hero. You will have a happy ending the same way I believe my mother will.

Love

Partiachy at work in Uganda today as we discuss the marriage and divorce bill. Men are worried that property will be shard on dissolution of marraige, yet property has been the mens priviledge. Many men to day will cohabit but when its time to marry they forget the prson that haas hepled them be what they are by looking for angels - women too!!!!!!!!!!!

Its a shame that a billl that was tabled in parliament 47 years ago to eal with societal and religious injustiices is being blamed on western powers. Even when we are aware that csome cultures are surely un acceptable and continue to expose women to danger todate. we do know that most new infections 43% in Uganda are in marrital beds or among people in long term relationships. its also known that violence in families is a major cause of HIV transmission. If i dont consent to sex then chances are the man will force me, i will get tears and therefore have very many chances of acquiring HIV. many Ugandans have married in church and dfinitely the marrieages are potentially monogamous but the men have more than 3 sexual partners which also further exposes the women to diseases. Women in marriage becuase of bride price cannot demand safe sex - condom use, when they are not well cannot refuse sex - because the culture and religion were clever to say - there is no to sex in marriage. several quotations will be cited in bible and culture even when women's vagina and sutures are raptured 2 days - 7 days- after they have delivered a baby- this the archbishop Church of Uganda , the cardinal - Catholic church (Never married so cant substantiate what i mean i guess) continue to claim that their religous tribunal work despite the failed resolutions attemp by the fathers and clergy who are themselves limping on failed marriages just covered by their collars and proximity to church.
With islam in Uganda women have started to get back to school but many cases in media of children being married off below 18 are of Islam faith, 14 year olds marrraige to 70 and above year olds. Its known that biologically the girls vagina is still tender, so these older men used to many women are likely to tear and infect the young girls - Infection among older people has also been seen on the increase. Worst still they are relegated to labour in the poor homesteads they are sold to, where they find other nagging 3 or 2 co wives. and the story continues as the cultural and religious contenders claim its an attack on their values. What values do we preach to date, the values have been eroded and culture must change. In order to secure girls future and womens life the governement must protect through the Marraige and Divorce although i rather call it he marraige Bill - in case divorce is to happen it will be dealt with the matter in the various clauses. we must market the Bill better to ensure by-in. for me any parent worthy of being called a parent must sign in to assent to the Bill as it protects and secure both girls and boys rights for the future

Culturally what was good culture has turned into greed where clan heads are evicting rightful owners of property especially women and children at the death of the husband cum father. they are hypocrites connive with thieves and cases are lost to greedy community members with support from clan leaders and local councillors.

By the way when i was still married several times i wanted to leave and my mother being very religious kept telling me to subsist - worried about what will fellow laity think about her and her children. And had i remained there in the marriage another year i believe i wouldnt be alive to tell this story, i would be dead. am glad this man actually sent me off albeit with none of my property secured. todate my mother is the proponent of protection, being highly respected in society after my experience she has told all parents if your child leaves a marriage dont force her back and dont worry about the stigma, it will soon be overcome. My mother wished i had left as soon as i felt the marraige was not working.

We must strive to build and secure our gilrs future, through the laws where its difficult we must come and challenge the status quo. Remember women are the gatekeepers of culture and therefore must mae change happen and protect, promote and fulfill their role in the lives fo girls and women.

By the way not to say that i dont believe in culture or religion but am stating the factsa s they are. when priests sodomise and defile young church goers, when they embezle , when they have 2 wives of have a wife and children yet they swore to be chaste. Even when they are sleeping with wives adn husbands of their laity. its a shame that they should oppose the bill, what irony or is it a fallacy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks all for the compliments you give me! i hope it can be a lesson for us to move ahead, love our selves, suppport each other and then move graciously to fight the good fight. Happy easter monday and Seasons tidings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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