Financial responsibility is for all involved

Nowadays, both women and men tend to take African culture as an excuse for all sorts of problems that come their way. However, today I want to address our sisters, because they have comfort zones in culture. Much as they want to be treated with respect as equal to us guys, they are not willing to let go of the little conveniences culture offers that have no place in the 21st Century Picture this. It’s payday, and both you and your boyfriend are smiling all the way from the bank. You call him up and suggest you both paint the town red in the evening.

Nowadays, both women and men tend to take African culture as an excuse for all sorts of problems that come their way. However, today I want to address our sisters, because they have comfort zones in culture.

Much as they want to be treated with respect as equal to us guys, they are not willing to let go of the little conveniences culture offers that have no place in the 21st Century Picture this.

It’s payday, and both you and your boyfriend are smiling all the way from the bank. You call him up and suggest you both paint the town red in the evening.

First, you suggest, a movie on big screen at cine silver in Nyamirambo, and then have an ignition drink at the Wine Bar before proceeding to a dance hall for an all-night shindig.

He’s for the idea. What do the two of you do? You, daydream the afternoon away. Your boyfriend gets out his pay slip and deducts about Rwf 100, 000 from it. When the bills come, you smile sweetly as you slip the bill to his side. At the end of the day, you do not spend a coin. He always bears your financial burdens.  

Should women be obliged to provide for the family or are men supposed to be the breadwinners? We had this discussion at home with buddies, and it ended up getting into a heated debate.

In our discussion, Phiona asserted that the man is and always will be the sole breadwinner and that the lady does the man a favour by spending any of her money in family affairs.

Ken, however, argued that if this were the case, women would stay at home and be the diligent housewives that hardworking men deserve.

Another brother, felt that a couple should pool their money proportionately, so that everyone brings in, say, 50 per cent of their income, to the family kitty. Whatever they do with the rest is up to them. That means that if the lady earns more, then she gives more than the man. 

My cousin felt that the role of provider is a God given responsibility and that women are only working because men have failed in their duty. Here’s my two cents. We need to reconsider our traditional roles in relationships and marriage.

Let’s get this right. I’m not saying that men should be like women and women, be like men. Most things about relationships need not go through a radical shift.

But there’s a lot of confusion in relationships because; we are all trying to hold on to yesterday’s map to navigate today’s waters. Things have changed, and those who do not change, will be irrelevant to life as it is today. 

If, as a woman, you ditch the role of housewife and get a thriving career, then be ready to cost share in the house. This goes for casual dates too.

Why do we girls expect that any guy with whom they go on a date will pay? We need to embrace the concept of going Dutch. Isn’t it weird that a girl can ask a guy out on a date and still be the miser when the bill is presented?

Actually, in the long run, financial dependence on men hurts relationships. Hang on your man long enough and he will treat you like the burden you are.

Once he feels that you are not bringing anything into the family kitty; that all investments are his headache; that all you do is joy ride while he toils; then he will feel overburdened, and he will treat you with contempt.

So please, girls, carry your own cross and add value into your family and your man’s life by being a financial partner. Women always say “My money is mine; his money is ours”.

So the guy does everything for her and the children and her family. And yet in the event of a divorce, she still wants half his property.

This just does not fly. With all the investment put into the girl child, it is a pity that most of them remain that; juvenile. Therefore, our sisters need to snap out of this fairy tale and roll up their sleeves.  It’s time women, put their money where their mouth is.

dedantos2002@yahoo.com

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