Feminism & Other Stories

My neighbour passed away recently. He had been sick for a while, from diabetes to high blood pressure, everyone knew time was one thing he didn’t have. I heard his health problems started after the death of his first wife and child. 

He remarried, a woman probably in her late 20’s and had 3 kids. He was probably in his 50’s by my estimation. I don’t know much of his wife’s educational qualification all I know is that she’s a house wife and not by choice. Make no mistake or wrong assumption, they were in love (at the very least they cared for each other more than friends do) but for him, his wife working was always off the table. My mum had talked to him about letting his wife go to work or open a shop at the very least but he just brushed it aside.

There were days when his wife locked him inside the house and stood out in the sun all day just to prevent him from going to work and killing himself. Those days were always dramatic and sometimes funny. 

 He died in my mums arms as she tried to rush him to the hospital. His wife has to move out of the government house and I have no idea where she’s going to continue her life. I have no idea what the future holds for the kids in this very unkind country.

What some people choose to neglect is that men in this part of the world are brought up to believe that even till death and even in their death, providing for the family is their sole responsibility. The effect is that we as men have relegated women to the kitchen because we believe we must carry a Mount Everest sized responsibility on our backs.

I disagree that the bible is anti-gender equality, because God said when creating woman, that she should be a helping hand. The rest were men’s words. The fight for gender equality doesn’t start with women empowerment alone, it starts with teaching a new generation of boys that it’s okay to ask a woman for help. That you aren’t inferior to a woman when you do so and that women aren’t inferior you because you did so.

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