Dear women, with high regards I come to you, begging to be heard.
Several weeks ago, a Sudanese woman was sentenced to death and my heart ached. It wasn’t because the woman had a six month old child still breastfeeding or because of she committed the crime of adultery. And it wasn’t because the judge did not have any iota of sympathy for the woman, but rather because of the law’s short sightedness on the importance of women in our society. How fair was this law that punished only the women, leaving her male counterpart free? However, that is not the point now.
That same week in Tanzania, a woman was found raped and murdered - the perpetrator then disappeared into thin air while her family was left wounded. Who will speak for this woman who died such a painful and undignified death?
In Somalia recently, a constitution was passed that decreed that 30% of parliamentarians must be women. It never came into effect however. The reason was that women could not handle the delicate issues that would be discussed. This brings me to the topic of discussion. Should we take for granted the level playing field that gender sensitive laws have caused in Rwanda?
Let’s take a look at the three vital roles that women play in society. God having created Adam, then saw the importance of giving him a companion. For the unity of these two people meant the growth of a very productive world. So in essence, a woman was created to be the unifying factor - at least from the Bible`s point of view.
Still down memory lane, we cannot overlook the role played by Mary Magdalene. Disappointment weighed her down in despair. She never sunk into the quick sand of sorrow; she boldly watched as Jesus was tortured, crucified, and killed. Painful as it was, she stood strong. When to others daylight brought promises, she grasped with excruciating pain. Women, from this lesson, bear the burden of society. Chinua Achebe puts it very clearly in his book Things fall apart, ‘’a man belongs to his father’s land when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.’’
Finally, they are moral-carriers; they are the custodians of culture, knowledge and language. In the traditional African setting, grandmothers used to narrate stories to children and through such stories, morals were imparted. They are the foundation of today, tomorrow and the future.
I am proud to be a part of this society. Women from all walks of life admire the life style of Rwandan women. They are like a sprouting seed on the soil of hope- it is to them I write - challenging them to extend their gospel of equity to other parts of our beloved Africa.
Reach out to Kenyan women and teach them to purge their fury with men. Sow submissiveness in them. Spread your message to northern Africa and teach their women to be good managers. Go to the south and impart the knowledge of narration to quench their thirst of morality and to the West, preach their unity.
After all that, come back home and thank your President for providing a healthy environment for your beautiful roses of admiration to blossom more. Indeed, you are a true reflection of where equity works.