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Violence against Women and girls, the New Mantra for Patriarchs

Violence against Women and girls, a comfort term for Patriarchs

Even patriarchs now speak of ending Violence against women and girls (VAWg) when in reality it is just a guise to control women.

The words VAWg seem to me as the new mantra everyone is talking about, particularly in Cameroon, from top authorities to clergy to local grassroots elites.

At occasions, workshops, seminars, I hear them recite, or should I say report local findings on VAWg. For example, they too speak of 36% of women in Cameroon have experience one or more forms of violence, over 55% of women as of age15 have at least experienced physical violence from a man, and about 24% of adolescents girls have had their breast iron, and so on.

Nowadays, in schools, universities, churches, community gatherings, you can also hear patriarchs preach about ending VAWg, how women and girls body must be protected, the need to invest in girls’ education, end child bride and forced marriages etc –

How good of an irony that privileged men want equal privileges for all but aren’t ready to give up parts of their privileges for equal privileges for all.

So why do patriarchs sudden talk about VAWg with certain degree of ‘comfort’? It’s over 60years after UDHR was conceived, almost 3 decades since the Mexico Conference on Women and CEDAW was established; 2decades or more since Beijing Conference and ICPD; now to 15 years to the MDGs. Some of these struggles are even older than many of us, today’s new generation of feminist [women] activists. Yet, achieving gender justice, women’s rights and empowerment has barely been realized. There still laws and barriers impeding Women from fully expressing their sexuality or gaining complete economic empowerment and social freedom.

With the huge awareness raised on VAWg, Patriarchs have also mastered the vocabularies too! And can now use it at their convenience, again for power and authority.

Women human rights have become a divisible item, which patriarchs can choose and select one right from another, and when, where it must be prioritize. For instance, according to Cameroonian patriarchs, VAWg is holding gatherings and press conferences to brainwash, Victim blame and shame women and girls, by telling women, and making them believe they caused and provoked sexual violence on themselves by dressing ‘inappropriately’ or wearing facial makeup, jewelries like foot rings, anklet.

As a result, on November 19, 2013, four Cameroon ministers, including the minister of women’s empowerment held a press conference in which they stated that girls ‘indecent’ dressing was amongst the main causes for the prevalence of VAWg in the country, the need for law enforcement to police women and girls’ dressing. A new responsibility, the police were glad to execute without a wage.

The question therefore is what could have made the minister for women’s empowerment believe in such patriarchal lies?
The answer is simple. We are all products of patriarchy. Born and breath in patriarchy. We grow hearing these lies, believing and internalizing it, and when we gain authority, we at times unconsciously exercise in their favour.

Patriarchy is huge. It changes forms, colour and structure every second it has the opportunity so to protect masculinity while policing feminism. The case of Cameroon and many others even shows how the most educated women elites sometimes suffer from internalized patriarchy and misogyny.

The reason I say, VAWg is now the new mantra for patriarchs to use against feminist struggle. Everyone talks about ending VAWg but do they sincerely understand the depth of violence on women? Do they feel women’s pains and constant suffering? Why 60 years, 30 years after, VAWg is still very pervasive? These are of the many questions, I often ask myself.

So, as the new generation of women born during feminists struggle and are living feminism, we must be extremely vigilant. Ending VAWg might be the new mantra for patriarchs but to us it has always been and would always be a daily meditation. VAWg must End! And we must be free from patriarchal. Our children must live a fulfilling and respectable life at all time.

These are some of the words I tell myself when I am trapped: .…because I am living feminism, I can now see beyond patriarchal boarders.

I know their many shapes, names, colours, forms and structures. I can scent and detect them from afar; across borders, nations, even across academic levels.

They can’t crush me anymore because now I am STRONG, FIRM & SOLID!

But they can crush my sisters. And one hit on a sister is a hit on me – so I won’t STOP till no sister, no one ever gets beaten by patriarchy.

Comments

olutosin's picture

THANK SISTER!

United can we end VAW few men will genuinely crave for equality. Its really a different world for men. They cannot survive the kind of oppression that women are going thru in Africa.THEY WONT SURVIVE IT.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

zoneziwoh's picture

Restless for Change

mY SWEET SISTER, we are into this together.. we wont rest till we see change, greater change happen. At least, I am proud to see the men by us standing against patriarchy and supporting equality/ justice for all.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

You have hit the heart of it it all in this sentence Zoneziwoh "How good of an irony that privileged men want equal privileges for all but aren’t ready to give up parts of their privileges for equal privileges for all." A beautiful blog post on how the trend to speak and pay lip service to VAWg is prevalent but the actions which would create the change are not. Thanks again for this post!
Denise/Roots To Resistance

I hope to see more actions/solution oriented conversations. I may not have been long into this struggle but with my young years, I think we have a lot more responsibilities and not to repeat the very errors or bn washed away by the lies and dishonesty that surrounds the dream for a justice and equal world.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

Leina's picture

You have diagnosed my trouble

You have diagnosed my trouble Ziwoh.I am particularly angry with these lazy cohorts and custodians of patriarchy who have refused to be converted but have joined the choir of "Stop VAWg".They have been told that every worth while public discourse must contain "La violence contre les femme"at least to proof that they are current with international trends.The Ministry of Women's Empowerment has made a mockery of the whole show.If wet grass can burn what more of dry grass?

zoneziwoh's picture

ahahha you said it all Siz

Very True. They have master the arts and continue to tell the story in a way people would think they are in support whereas, they just making a show. but time will come when, the will be no show. people will get to act not as they have bn told but on how they feel.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

Celine's picture

Thank You

Thank you Ziwoh for this post. It is all about power and authority, as you said.

Custodians of patriarchy actually know that violence against women and girls can be heart wrecking to the victims but they enjoy the power and authority bestowed on them by patriarchy. No matter how they chorus in the song against VAWg, they would hardly domesticate a 'world free from VAWg' even right in their homes. They enjoy the exercise of power on women. The power gives them authority to control and dominate fellow human being simply because she is a woman and powerless.

Africans only pay lip service to human rights, They sing the song in international gatherings and back home switch over to dominance, discrimination and suppression. They make statements and sign instruments without heartily commitments. It is all about self interests and never on empathy, they are good at executive lies, deceiving the citizens and oppressing the powerless.

Thank you for buttressing the fact that there is no stopping till no one ever gets beaten by patriarchy.

Love
Celine

Siz, you move me with your comment. and honestly speaking it is more painful to knowing that people understand the feelings and emotional trauma of VAWg and yet shows little or no compassion, and empathy.

On the African scenario, I am yet to understand why majority of our leaders think the way they do. I tell you, these guys never stops embarrassing us all Africans. But onething I am so sure and confident is I believe one day, things will change for good. Let's keep the struggle alive siz.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

Dear Sister Zoneziwoh,

I must thank you for uncovering the veil off their face and for your insight on the forms, colour and faces the patriarchs take. It comes as a revelation to me how people can still be advocating for rights of women and end to violence against them and yet be a part of a system that does not believe in doing so!!

You have urged me to be 'vigilant' now sister. Thank you!

Love and prayers from India,
Urmila Chanam

It takes just one to change many

zoneziwoh's picture

Always. Eyes Open

y sister, they have various forms. One must be vigilant. They either come as suitors, boyfriends, fiance, friends, companions, doctors, assistants, work/school colleagues, bench mates and / or even as Mentors.

They are everywhere at anytime. We just knew to be skilled enough to scent and detect them from afar before they hurt us. For they'll always hurt us. Making us to doubt the cause we stand for. Sometimes, discourage us an makes us think we are living a life fill with illusion.

Just be consistence, persistence and committed --

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

busayo's picture

YES! It us just mouth Talk

Thank you for this post my Sister and I am supporting you totally on the fact that we will not stop raising our voice until battering totally stop. The question is, it still happen everyday and you wonder will it ever stop. The patriarch talk is just in the mouth with no action to actually stop abuse of women.
Aluta Continual!

Love
Busayo Obisakin
Founder/ CEO
Women Inspiration Development Centre
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com

Reading your comment, it reminds me of what Thomas Sankara once said: 'The revolution and women’s liberation go together. We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or because of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the triumph of the revolution. Women hold up the other half of the sky.' -

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

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