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When is it time to quit?

Today was a historic day in Kenya. Our Justice and constitutional affairs minister resigned. This is a historical even as in the past minister only resign when there is enough pressure after corruption scandals. However this was a case where the justice Minister popularly known as ‘the iron lady’ decided to quit as a matter of principle. She had declared that her hands are tied and hence she cant do her job well. This sent ripples in the country and it was interesting to watch views and comments from different people and more so the citizens.

Two comments particularly touched me; one woman said that Martha
‘was like a man…..” implying that she was assertive and had her way etc. I just wondered how this woman viewed herself as a woman, she cold not identify with this woman who is strong contrary to the popular beliefs and she represents a million other women who needs to be helped realise they can be great, without turning into men!!

On the other hand I was also struck by a woman who commented that the minister should not have quit but waited. She went on to add that she believes that the Minister had valid reasons but…..

It got me thinking, this is the same with women in abusive relationships and other arrangements where many women belief that they have to wait until they cant take it anymore, and knowing the strength of a woman, she can take it all. Many end up in the grave!!

When is it time to quit? Difficult question, but I believe that when you inner self tells you it is over, then it is time to quit. You don’t have to wait until you can no longer quit, because it is too late. Quitting is often seen as an option for losers, but I know that it is easier to stay in a situation that one is familiar with rather than take the great courage to quit into the unknown.

I share a quote I came across recently:
When I am asked why a woman doesn’t leave abuser I say: Women stay because the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying. They will leave when the fear of staying is greater than the fear of leaving.
Rebecca J. Burns


jadefrank's picture

To quit or not to quit

Hi Sophie,

You pose an interesting question - when is it time to call it quits? I suppose that your Constitutional Affairs Minister felt that she could no longer do her job under the current administration. And by quitting, she made a bold statement to that affect. And while I am not educated on the current political situation in Kenya, it saddens me that women like Martha are in fact forced out of the government in this way as well.

As for a woman calling it quits in an abusive relationship, I love this quote that you provided by Rebecca Burns. Though sometimes it's too late for the women whose fear of staying never takes over their fear of leaving. And this is where empowerment comes in and helping those women to understand that they should not be afraid to leave. We need to build an infrastructure across the world that allows women to safely leave an abusive relationship and have the support to make that transition afterwords.

Thank you for bringing up this topic and for drawing the interesting parallels.

Warm regards,

Sophie's picture

Support women

I agree Jade the society, you and me sometimes make it impossible for the women to quit, coz we have no place for 'quitters', we expect them to persevere to their graves!! Always nice to ask myself how supportive have I been?

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe

efe's picture

New culture of quitting

i am glad that more people are now quitting in Africa. In the past, they bore it all out.Ngozi Okonjo Iweala the World Bank African Region head resigned from her Job as the Minister of Finance because she didnt feel comfortable with the government of the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. More people should be willing to give up prestigous positions if things are not right

Sophie's picture

Giving up for better good

It is true many times many can not leave money for their principles.

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe

The Afrika way's picture

Quit when it is time to

Hi Sophie,

I read the news of with surprised. I looked up to her, and i admired the way she handled herself and the issues presented to her politically and I still do. She was a role model to many women in Kenya. The "iron lady of Kenyan politics" she was popularly known, she really intimidated men who viewed themselves learned and politically powerful.

Yes many in Kenya did refer to her as "a man". I think she has been one of the examples many use to argue if it is necessary to act like a man in order to survive, in a male dominated field. On the other hand how do we not know that that is just her personality? (A debate for another day)

I do agree that there comes a time when one has to do what she feels is best for herself, and I believe Marthe had reached that point. This is her way of voicing what she stands for, and for those keen in Kenyan politics I think the message is clear.

Nice post.

Warm Regards,

LauraB's picture

To stay or go

I've just been thinking about this very subject. When things get tough, will it provide growth and needed learning? Or is it time to move on. A dead-end situation or just a tough patch? It was hard to quit my teaching job. The steady pay, not sure what was next, all that schooling to do the job. Was I a failure? Others did it- why was I depleted? I did quit with an open mind and eager sense of the unknown...and so glad I did. Many adventures have come my way.

Thanks for sharing this about the minister. Do you felt like she did the right thing to leave? Is it hard for you to move on into the unknown?



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