By Stella Makhuva
Coming from a long weekend, I opened my email account to keep myself updated on work matters and other businesses.
After reading all the important emails, I got attracted to one of the emails with a title: Men vs. Women. I quickly thought that it was one of those chains of emails people share with their friends and anyone in their contact list.
I wanted to ignore the email but on a second thought, I opened it and read the contents quickly. The contents of this so called ‘humorous’ email were full of actions and expressions that portrayed men as clever, intelligent, organized, hardworking and fearless while women were portrayed as stupid, ignorant, disorganized, lazy, fearful and so on.
Soon after reading it, I questioned the ‘humour’ behind the contents and I felt anger burning in me. I got angrier at the realization that the email originated from a woman who circulated it to over 135 people including men before it reached me!
I sent an email to the author to reason with her if she realised that the email was degrading women but she could not take it. This was the day I realised that much as women are trying their best to fight Gender Based Violence, some women are busy perpetrating it.
Since the 16 days of Activism was initiated, women and men have been working as partners to create awareness and promote response to GBV. The battle has not been easy, but slowly we have seen change of behaviour in men pertaining to GBV and many more successes achieved.
As a woman, I would jealously guard the successes ensuring that, NO ONE takes us back to those days when people believed that some women ask for abuse.
My humble request to fellow women is that, we should not frustrate the efforts to stop all forms of violence against women. We should never smile at any humour that tends to degrade women. We should realise that, if we are in the forefront smiling at abuse against women in whatever form it takes, we are opening loopholes and defeating the very same cause we are fighting for. We can stop perpetrating violence against ourselves.