Poverty is broken down into different categories, all the way from the type that the rich people face to the extreme type that is unspeakably painful, where even a drop of water is deemed precious.
I don’t know much about Europe or North America, but women in Africa have suffered a great deal of violence, both psychologically and physically, all because of the extreme poverty.
There would be nothing blown out of proportion if it was reported that in superstitious African families, women are regarded as the cause of poverty, the curse of husbands who suddenly lost money or property. This is the extreme danger in which women in Africa find themselves.
Women are now part of the labor force in most African countries. Earlier, they were expected to stay at home, take care of the children, keep the home clean and cultivate land.
For those that are unemployable, time is still their most wasted asset as they are kept at home doing chores and being imprisoned in a dangerous cycle of poverty, whereas the men assume a God-given right to venture out for a buck.
Although a major positive shift in women rights movements saw many of them go to school and compete with men for jobs, it also caused a major concern for a significant number that found it too late to join school or look for good employment.
As it turned out, these innocent women were unfairly minimized by their husbands who mercilessly compared them with the ones who were employed, a trait that bred violence and inhumane treatment against them.
To avert the violence-cycle and improve women rights, empowerment programmes that promote the education of girls and equal employment must be seriously considered by policy makers.
Many women in the developing world are too poor to choose for themselves how to live, where to go and what to become. As long as they are kept in a state of despair, wanting and dependence, violence against them will exist.
When policymakers foster women empowerment, girls will be treated like boys and will have the knowledge and skills to make free and independent choices; they will gain the capacity to fight for their rights as well as for other women.
On the other hand, men also have to be empowered and taught about the importance of treating their children equally because usually, they are under the yoke of cultural influences.
There are instances when a father finds it difficult to pay school fees for his daughters but will somehow find a way to pay his sons’ tuition by marrying off his daughters for dowry.
Due to this negative cultural perspective, poorer and less educated women are continuously mistreated by men.
The rising number of female-headed households partly reflects the unwillingness by women to continue accepting injustices.
For as long as women are denied equal entry into the labor market, issues of gender violence are still going to affect society. Therefore, the government and society at large must focus on programmes that empower women and plunk them out of poverty; from this, not only will the women benefit but also the men, their families and whole societies.
Paid work for women has a great impact on the development of a country, and at the family level, a working and educated woman is definitely going to be respected by the man.
When violated against, an educated woman can spell out her rights to the man and report him to authorities or sue him.
More importantly, educated and employed mothers will know the importance of sending their daughters to school rather than marrying them off for a few heads of cattle.
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