Both men and Women need to be treated equally.
A sick man who thought he could not live for another week, dictated his will like this.“After my death, my wife shall continue living in our family house with the children, but she must not under any circumstances bring in a lover.
If she marries again, she will not be allowed to live in the house with her new husband. She is free to marry, but her husband shall not under any circumstances enter our matrimonial home.
It is in this place where we have stayed together happily, so the memory written by the walls, the floor, the roof and the furniture need not be buried, by introducing another man, with me replaced.”
After dictating this and more of his testaments, he fell into a coma. His brother who wrote the will rushed him to hospital, where he was admitted for a fortnight and recovered.
Two years later, his wife died.
When they met twenty years before, they were all young and single. As a boy, the husband was a clerk working with the Ministry of Works, while the woman was a typist with the Ministry of Water and Power.
Each rented a room in town, but after several months of courting, they decided to rent an apartment and moved in together. A year later they were married.
During their life together, they got three children, who made so much noise that their parents thought that was reason enough, to make them build their own house, where they could be free to live with their noisy children, no longer afraid to be evicted from the apartment. They were lucky to finish their house in which they lived happily, until that day, when the woman passed away, leaving the husband behind, contrary to the husband’s expectation.
The grief was inconsolable, but only a year later the bereaved husband fell in love again with a girl of twenty and married her almost instantly. He felt no guilt by starting life with a new wife in the house he had built with his deceased wife; he thought he had that right which his wife didn’t have.
What the husband thought and dictated to be included in his will is not different from what’s happening in society today.
The house and all other possessions of spouses which had jointly been acquired belong more to the husband than to the wife. In case the man dies first, all they possessed belong to the children, but if they had no children, the husband’s siblings divide them among themselves and chase the woman away, to find shelter wherever she wants.
If her face is more appealing to the husband’s brothers, she is enticed to be inherited together with the family’s possessions.
If this appears difficult as it may be in a family with grown boys, one of the husband’s brothers pretends to fall in love, and showers her with gifts, till he wins her heart and open a door to siphon the family’s wealth through her.
When there’s no more left of the deceased’s wealth, the brother disappears in thin air, while the widow is chased away by her children for squandering their father’s wealth.
So far wealth has been a motive to all the happenings above, but culturally among some tribes, the woman’s sweat is ‘leaked’ by the man; she’ll be in charge of house chores alone as head and tail, only to be repaid with blows on return of the husband as he finds her lying on a couch tired and unable to receive the bag he’s carrying.
The unmarried are treated in the same manner by their brothers. In one tribe the cows and goats are locked in a barn awaiting the woman to feed them, yet when they are slaughtered, the woman waits in the house for the man to bring her a kilogramme that she’ll cook for the family, including the man who’d consumed the carcass in the slaughter shades with male members of his clan.
Even this seems insufficient to prove a woman’s ill-treatment, but when we come to marital relations, something more astonishing is evolved: a husband kissed his wife goodbye as he left for the office one morning.
On his return, he told her that he was intending to marry another wife because one finger could not crush lice. In exasperation the woman asked, “where are those lice, so that I can also find another finger? One finger cannot crush lice is a direct translation of a Swahili saying, “Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa.” which meant one wife couldn’t satisfy a husband’s needs.
The wife’s response was fair because if one wife couldn’t meet a husband’s needs, even one husband couldn’t satisfy a wife’s needs. On hearing that, the man concluded the dialogue with blows and two days later a new wife joined the family. What followed next had not been told, but the woman has undoubtedly found herself another man, in vengeance.
Another man by the name of Emanuel Mukadacya from Nyarugenge district in Rwanda, went to see his woman who gave birth to triplets and told her, “It’s up to you and your mother.”
Then he fled to the unknown, afraid of the heavy task of raising three infants at once.( Daily News 5th, 2013.) It was the woman’s second birth; the first born is a son and the triplets who were born in January 11th, 2013 are also males. I wonder how the mother of the woman is implicated in the birth of triplets and also the wrong which the woman did in delivering triplets cannot be fathomed.
This also can be considered as some individuals’ stupidity which cannot tarnish the image of the entire population of men; but what about the woman in the Bible who was accused of adultery and brought to Jesus to give judgment of being stoned to death as written in the Jewish law? Where was the man with whom the woman was found committing adultery? What about unwed mothers of Mali whose list had been compiled for cruel punishments such as public execution, amputation and stoning? (Daily News, October 13, 2012) The children born to these mothers have fathers but they were not being enrolled for same punishments.
The women committed adultery, conceived and bore the children who had become an evidence of their adultery; but they committed adultery with men and may be some of their accusers are among them. Again, what shall we say about a schoolgirl who is suspended from school after being found pregnant? The man who’d impregnated her remains safe and secure.
What about government female employees, do they get equal salaries with men holding same posts? Are they represented equally in decision making? These must be weighed by intellectuals so that women may get their rights, for they have suffered enough. I don’t think God had intended the woman to succumb to ill-treatment, injustice and prejudice and humiliation.
There are many strange things happening inside people’s houses especially after booze. As a boy in standard six, I witnessed a teacher who returned home at midnight with a woman, then asked his wife to leave the bedroom, so that he could sleep in with “our guest.” When the woman declined, she was brutally kicked out.
Today, more than 45 years have passed, but scars of the wounds she sustained on that day are still visible on the forehead and the lower lip. It is strange, but three years ago, a scene like this was enacted in a family of educated people and left many of the neighbors shocked; they thought it was drama, only to realize they were not witnessing that in a theatre, but in a person’s house.
A man is born of a woman; what is the origin of a man’s superiority to woman? From where did that superiority sprout? Is it inborn? How much has a man invested in that superiority, if at all there is any? If it is God-given, a man has nothing to be proud of.