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Not yet Uhuru!

March 8 was International Women’s Day. This is a day marked to ‘celebrate women and recognize the great role they play in the world’. Women are not just women they are mothers, lovers and caregivers too.

Yet for many women this day really had no meaning, not because it’s not special but it does not fulfill any purpose in their lives.

Women bear the brunt of social, political, economic woes, yet they are still treated as second-class citizens.

On this day I felt that as a woman living in a country in which women are not only treated inhumanly but not respected as well, I had nothing to celebrate.

Why should women celebrate when many cannot even afford to buy a packet of sanitary pads, which are sold at ridiculous prices, yet they are a basic need. I’ve heard of stories of women resorting to olds pieces of cloth and papers as an alternative, risking their health in the process.

It is an open secret that many women are languishing in poverty and have to scavenge for everything from food to water. In most instances many go to bed hungry.

I have visited most cities which are hard hit by the water crisis, and I will testify that I have seen women and children risking their lives by fetching water from unprotected sources. The men will of course either be battling for power, or drinking their sorrows to oblivion.

As the adage goes where to elephants mate it is the grass suffers, thus women have fallen victim as they are at the receiving end of violence, whether in the home or in the country.

Women cannot walk freely at night without being harassed by not just men but police agents as well, accusing them of ‘loitering for the purposes of prostitution’. Not only is this dehumanising but mind -boggling as well.

To date many women still face physical, sexual and emotional abuse regardless of the Domestic Violence Law which to me really is just ‘a loud sounding nothing’. Owing to the fact that many women are still vulnerable and have little or no say over their bodies. They are subjected to Rape, crimes of passion and willful transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Although women experience all the insurmountable challenges their efforts go unnoticed, even when it comes to decision-making and positions of authority, very few women if any at all are given the opportunity to show their prowess.

This is why I feel although there is a day set aside to celebrate women, more still needs to be done, respect, recognition and love is still lacking. Until such a time when women’s efforts are recognized and acknowledge it is definitely not yet Uhuru for the fairer sex.

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