THE high status of womankind in society needs not be belabored, but we are compelled to do so, as society hosts some people who deliberately reject even the obvious.
Women are the major component of the machinery of existence, covering, mainly, pregnancy, childbirth and upbringing.
Except for the absolutely mischievous, no man, including mighty ones in spiritual, political, business, sports and other fields, can orchestrate the presumed superiority of ‘male kind’ and laugh off womankind as inferior.
For inherent in everyone, being a human being is the incontestable fact that, he or she comes into being as the climax of a reproductive process. Regrettably, females are a largely undermined lot.
Some societies perceive them as the property of their husbands and arrogate unto themselves the license to mistreat them without being sanctioned, and others consider women who vie for high political office as jokers.
We –Tanzanians – have our embarrassing share of blame on that front. Whereas we tout the wholesomeness of the cultures of tribes numbering around 120 as personifying the soul of the nation, some host negative, as well as outright primitive features.
In pastoralist communities, girls are largely manipulated as livestock investments, by way of cattle paid as dowry boosting herds owned by their fathers. Schooling is thus considered a spoiler, by the twisted logic of the many years a girl spends in schools, colleges and the university as constituting delays for the fathers to own extra cattle.
The abhorrent Female Genital Mutilation not only subjects girls to physical and emotional torture, but curtails their academic and career prospects. Considerable headway has been made in politics and the professions, in some of which women have distinguished themselves as exemplary performers.
The trend should be sustained. In the education sector, barriers lie along the path of girls realizing their full potential, such as long treks to and from school that exhaust them, and falling prey to sweet-tongued men who offer them money, as well as motorbike taxi operators who use free transport as a bait for striking friendships that culminates in girls becoming pregnant and young mothers.
In a nutshell, more steam should be pumped into initiatives to ease the plight of womankind, to enable them expend their resourcefulness into the social and economic fabric, for broad, collective national benefit.