Sunday, December 28, 2014
We African Women Are Tired of Empty Promises: African Leaders must deliver
And on 27 November JOE IGBOKWE writes so powerfully but also heavily leaned towards General Buhari in his story(which you can read on this link)
While reading that story I took special note certain words and phrases and to quote the words that got me thinking in this story are; first he mentions Nigerians being ""gang raped"" then he goes to make an assertion on behalf of General Buhari."" he will do things differently...They know his puritanical disposition and they know he will stop at nothing to stop the mess in the land"".
Well, moment of silence.
Without taking away anything from the article or criticising the writer whom I think did an amazing job I just to write on behalf of women and will just use the article as an example of how women and girls have lost out due to the politics or shall i say poli-tricks of empty promises by politicians. By saying he will do things differently does Igbokwe mean that General Buhari will improve the security of women and especially girls in particular, by using the phrase gang rape is it just a metaphor or is it being used in contextual reality? because the reality in Nigeria is that women and girls continue to be gang raped daily and those 200 girls who went missing are still missing and the government is still to rescue them. Oh and by government we mean a bunch of politicians am I right?
Let me come back to my own backyard Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe during the run up to the election in 2013 we were promised heaven as women. Of course there is the 50-50 drive which the politicians kept hammering on then the gender equality trump card that politicians use to get the women vote. There were the promises to create more jobs and improve conditions for women there were calls for castration of rapists. We heard all of that and more. But once the the ruling party garnered a landslide victory I think they then suffered memory loss because they started victimising the only woman who has ever risen to the presidium since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. I am not one to judge whether she committed all those crimes that she is being accused of but I am judging the way she was treated, the public showdown the dressing down that left her dignity in tatters. I say so because in the past we have heard other men being accused of such crimes and not being treated the same way. I am just wondering was all that public bashing of Joice Mujuru because she is a woman? Where is that promise of gender equality and women empowermnet which Zanu Pf promised us where exactly did the promise go because we saw two very manly men being appointed VPs and more women being actually fired from government. Shall I go on asking the obvious questions?
No need really and so for me I am tired of politicians coming to us with promises of equality so as to move our hearts and win our votes, I'm tired of nice well written gender based nonsense policies which are never executed. I'm tired of laws that they make which exist alongside but also conflict with each other, laws that do not protect women laws that leave me vulnerable as a woman.
I think its time the politicians started to deliver on their promises. I think Africans must rise above politics of partisanship and patronage. And as women must learn the lesson now we must know that gender equality is not coming through politics that we have to start selling our votes wisely. We must stop voting for men we must start pushing our women to the top because as far I can see we have been used long enough. Our votes are just numbers without voice because when we finish voting for them and look on eagerly for something to give all we see is them politicians vanishing into their mansions and motorcades, we see them jumping onto the gravy train, we see them forgetting our blood and sweat soaked votes and all we are left to do is to take our sullen weary selves and walk back into oblivion where we have come from to vote.
Edinah Masanga is a Journalist, Speaker, Gender and Media Rights Advocate and Founding CEO of Women Empowerment Foundation Scribes Africa.