SOMETIMES the world speaks of civilisation but fails to verify whether really it shows that the same civilisation exist in its people’s daily chores and relations.
Or is that some human beings are born ‘less class world citizens’ and who has a right and a yardstick to judge God’s creation and put people in classes?
No wonder Mary Astel, English philosopher and Feminist, during her heydays had to say:
“If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?”
This comes painfully with the realization that despite the world entering into a new millennium, from the dawn of civilization till date, a woman (a full citiz en of the world), still continues to be oppressed and ill-treated. She is dependent, weak, exploited and faces gender discrimination in every sphere of life.
The gender-based violence that threatens her well-being, dignity and rights, extends across social, cultural, economic and regional boundaries, where they also pay tax to develop.
It is unfortunate that responses by communities, religious institutions, government (various commissions), international conventions, stringent legislations and penal measures have failed miserably to contain the menace.
It is also unfortunate that violence against women occurs throughout the life cycle from pre-birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood to senescence, and it seems that most of the data are believed to be unreliable as many cases go unreported far into the remote areas, where some men think that by marriage they ‘own women as property.’
The society may blame customs and values to have been made by men to favour men and leave women to suffer discrimination in silence, and if this is the case, can’t the same men stop this barbaric and uncouth stance.
Why use violence to sort out a dispute? In the same society, women and children have faced painful and antisocial sexual assaults, and abuse in many forms including inappropriate touch, rape, attempted rape, and child molestation and the list may be long.
In Tanzania, the government has gone to the extent of starting special Desk Units in Police Stations to handle gender based violence and child abuse, but this won’t be fruitful if men (who are main perpetrators), do not change their behaviors.
Think of a cruel and inhuman butcher of a woman (a man calls a wife), and go to the extent of burning her body with two sacks of charcoal as in a scene allegedly committed at Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam, does this really ring a sense of civilization in mankind?
It is not too late, the society (read men) must change and fully accommodate women as part and parcel of same society where they live with all rights of a human being.