Saturday, 15 April 2017


Be happy with yourself and your life, and make it a great one, even if you do that alone. You yourself make it a happy, fulfilled and successful life, with or without a partner.. Direction for Happy Independence: Ladies, you are the Queen of Your Own Life, now and forevermore. Rule your life wisely and well. Be happy now and make the happiest life now, starting today. Do not wait to be happy. Do not wait for someone to make you happy. Do not wait to get this or that, or be this or that, or have this or that, or wait for any person, ever. Don't wait for anyone to give you, get you or bring you anything at all. Wait for nothing and wait for no one. You are the one that you are waiting for, and you always will be.
Don't delay, because today is the day. Don't delay living your life to the fullest, and wait for happiness to be brought to you, given to you, awarded to you, or bestowed upon you. You can have it right now, right here, just as you are, in your pajamas, sweats or jeans. You don't need a royal crown, robe and scepter to be a happy, fulfilled and successful woman. You don't need a king to make you a queen. You don't have to marry a prince to be happy, or to have a "happy ever after." You don't have to even have a prince and you don't have to be married to be happy. You can be royally happy and be a princess perfectly well on your own. Many women are perfectly happy and successful and fulfilled without a romantic partner at all: with no sweetheart, boyfriend, husband, lover or man. A queen with a king who's not loving, supportive, faithful, kind and an equal partner in the kingdom they're creating together will not ever be a happy and productive queen, no matter how big and beautiful the crown the king gives her. A man and a marriage does not guarantee any woman happiness. Actually, many women are quite happy without romantic partners, and they do quite well on their own, and they've chosen -- and continue to choose -- to be on their own. There are women who say, "no" to the "prince" (who may not treat them that royally now, or in the future, much less forevermore), and they never regret it. No one -- no man, husband, no prince, no king, no knight on a white horse -- and no marriage proposal, no ring, no marriage, no title of "wife" or "Mrs." can raise your status any higher when you're already a great woman on your own merits. Say no to what glitters that is not truly golden, that can tarnish. Say no to anything or anyone that limits you, lessens you, controls, oppresses, suppresses and represses you, or diminishes your power to be happy, successful and fulfilled, independently. Always say "yes" to yourself, in all ways. Say "I do" to you.🤔😲

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Wanawake ni nguzo ya jamii na uchumi wa nchi, asema Ruto

Naibu Rais William Ruto katika kongamano. Ruto anataka wanawake kupewa nafasi sawa katika jamii ili kuiendeleza. [Nation/] Naibu Rais William Ruto amebaini kuwa Afrika haiwezi kuendelea kwa kumdhalilisha mwanamke, ila tu kwa kumpa nafasi murwa ya kujiendeleza katika sekta zote za maisha.
Ruto, katika ukurasa wake wa Facebook amefafanua kuwa dunia inadororesha sekta mbali mbali kwa kutomhusisha mwanamke katika maswala ya kiuchumi. "Kongamano hili litumike katika kuimarisha nafasi ya mwanamke katika masuala ya uchumi na biashara kote duniani ili kujiendeleza kimaisha," alisema Ruto. Naibu wa rais amesisitiza kuwa wanawake humu nchini wanendelea vizuri katika maswala ya kiuchumi hasa kutokana na kuwawezesha kupata huduma za mikopo pamoja na mpango wa fedha za Uwezo. “Huduma kwa wanawake, watu wenye ulemavu pamoja na vijana wameendelea kibiashara, swala ambalo lina umuhimu sana kwa maendeleo ya taifa hili,” aliongeza Ruto. Ujumbe wake vile vile umeungwa mkono na Rais wa Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ambaye ametaja kuwa uhuru wa kumiliki ardhi kwa wanawake ni jambo ambalo linapaswa kushughulikiwa kiundani sana maanake ardhi ndio nguzo muhimu katika uzalishaji. Sirleaf ameongeza kuwa mwanamke ni nguzo ya jamii, huku akitoa mfano wa taifa lake la Liberria ambamo kupitia kwa mshikamano wa wanawake, taifa hilo limepata nafuu kutokana na hali ya utovu wa amani ambayo ilikuwa imelikumba kwa takriban miaka miwili.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Does privilege affect our perceptions of violence against African women ?

By Fungai Machirori

A friend and I begin a Twitter chat.

I have picked up from her most recent tweets that she has been violated; a man has touched her inappropriately in a public space and has laughed back at her.

“I hope you won't say this is sexual harassment,” he states.

I apologise to her; a helpless apology because, as she reassures me, it is not my fault. I know this, but I also know the difficulty of what she is going through; the violation itself, the speaking up against it. And so still, I am sorry. I am sorry that all of this responsibility - of guilt and self-blame - falls on her shoulders within a patriarchal society that will still find fault with her speaking up.

My friend is privileged, as am I. Well-educated, well-spoken, accomplished, young, articulate and autonomous. Society so often constructs violence like something that doesn’t happen to women like her or me. We won’t get slapped by a drunk sexist in an upmarket bar, or hit by a boyfriend in the car we’ve bought with our own hard-earned cash, or raped by the husband we’ve desperately wanted to leave for months, or even years.

Things like that are constructed as only happening to women who don’t have ‘power’; women who are cast within our dominant (and flawed) narratives as being unable to speak or stand up for themselves.

In a paper written in 2004, feminist activist Everjoice Win makes the following observation;

“... the middle class woman is completely silenced and erased from the images of development and rights work. She is constantly reminded that development is about eradicating poverty and therefore it focuses on those defined as “the poor” (read as resource-poor). Therefore her story and her experiences are not part of the narrative. In essence, this means women’s lives are put on a kind of league table and it is those that qualify which get addressed. If the non-poor woman dares give herself as an example, she is reminded that she is too distant from the lives of the women out there to matter.”

And so development narratives become exclusionary and prescriptive; in fact it is almost seen as self-indulgent for a woman of privilege and relative freedom within society to air her grievances publicly. She is, after all, seen as being many positions ahead of her more disenfranchised peers on the hierarchical league table of good fortunes.

And such perception has an impact on many fronts.

In contexts across the continent where reporting mechanisms for abuse are generally weak, appearing to have agency deemed high enough to avoid such violence in the first place has an effect on the kind of service one receives. These underlying sentiments may manifest through service providers engaging in judgemental interrogation and/ or counselling, or making inferences around a victim’s financial capacity to pay a bribe or some such other incentive to get helped.  It must be borne in mind, too, that these service providers are often working in under-resourced contexts with modest remuneration; therefore, what is perceived to be privilege may vary widely but still yield negative responses such as offense and resentment.

This then brings into question the level of professionalism of such service provision and, further, if an all-inclusive rights-based approach is being employed. A type of service provision that empathises with some victims but subtly blames or exploits others is a travesty of social justice.

Development remains largely centred around getting more women into positions of agency through education, employment and elevated status. Ironically, though - once they get there, women become periphery to the more mainstream focus of development on ‘grassroots women’. Perhaps even more worrying is that their critiques of patriarchal power become subtly deligitimised because of their movement from this periphery to the mainstream.

This failure to understand the pervasive nature of patriarchy means that conversations like the one my friend and I had are difficult and taxing. We should be able to stand up for ourselves, we get told. Through our acquisition of all our head knowledge and experiences, we should – by now – be able to save ourselves.

As society, we need to have ongoing and nuanced conversations about development and agency, especially when this pertains to women. Having access to quality education or some of the ‘finer things in life’ does not translate to a life free of violence or patriarchy. Violence in its many guises and forms is deeply entrenched within our cultures and we need to talk more about how it continually mutates as women practice more agency. In turn, there is a special onus on service providers for violence against women to remain conscious of judgements and biases that may serve as barriers to equitable access for all.

Privilege will neither protect nor save us - as women - from violence.

This blog post is part of a series of online conversations facilitated by the Gender Based Violence Prevention Network on a world #WithoutPatriarchy. Join us in these conversations via Twitter (@GBVNet) and Facebook ( )

Sunday, 18 September 2016


two years ago
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby takes place in a new, interesting, exciting time in American history. It take place right after women received their right to vote, their right to work, and they gained freedom that they never experienced before. Women started working in jobs only men would work and started doing a whole lot of other things that made them more independent. Unfortunately these changes didn’t have a big impact on the characters in the Fitzgerald’s novel, sure the women seem freer by being able to vote and having jobs, but during several scenes, we see women being controlled by men, submissive, and obedient.  The men in the novel seem to be overpowered, controlling, and dishonest especially towards the women. Nearly a hundred years later, gender equality and the roles of women in today’s society still seem to be a serious issue. Society has improved itself from the times of the novel, for example in today’s world there are hundreds of powerful figures who are female, but gender roles and gender inequality still exists in America. Some people still believe that gender roles should not be changed, for example Spiderman star Kristen Dunst stated in U.S. Magazine that “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being a mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mom created.” She stated her opinion and believes that the gender role of females staying at home and taking care of the children should not be changed, and no doubt she received a lot of criticism by saying that. Gender roles and inequality is one of the main issues we see in The Great Gatsby, and it’s still one of the main issues our society faces today.

            Throughout The Great Gatsby, we witness many scenes when females are mistreated and even sometimes beat by the dominant male characters. In chapter two, we see a violent encounter between Mrs. Wilson and Tom Buchanan as they get into a serious argument when Mrs. Wilson yells “Daisy! Daisy! Daisy!’ shouted Mrs. Wilson, ‘I’ll say it whenever I want to! Daisy! Dai –‘Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand.” (Fitzgerald 37) This scene shows how women were mistreated and how Tom wants to be the dominant one by hitting Mrs. Wilson, who is a lower-class lady, which also signifies the mistreatment of the lower-class. The mistreatment of women in the novel can be related to this article found in the NY Times which talks about the gender gap at the top museums. According to the article “Women run just a quarter of the biggest art museums in the United States and Canada, and they earn about a third less than their male counterparts.” There are many more cases where women and men have the same career but the women are unequally treated. The gender roles and inequality we see in the novel still are a major issue our society faces every day.

In the novel, we see a lot of inequality towards women and scenes with gender roles, where women were expected to act a certain way or do certain things. For example in chapter four the narrator explains a scene when Daisy got drunk instead of acting ladylike, “I was a bridesmaid. I came into her room half and hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bad as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress – as drunk as a monkey. She had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other. … I was scared, I can tell you; I’d never seen a girl like that before.” (Fitzgerald 76.) This scene shows how Daisy gets drunk and how the narrator is shocked to see Daisy, a lady, in a state like this. Daisy just received a letter from Gatsby which explains why she was crying, but to get drunk like she did wasn't okay, but if it was a man to that, it might have been a different story. It’s unfair for someone to be expected to do something just cause of their gender, if someone wants to follow their passion whether or not society expects them of doing it or not, he/she should still do it. For example, the article What It’s like to Be a Girl Who Codes, the author explains her experiences being the only girl in coding because girls aren't usually expected to go into computer sciences or engineering majors. She states “In the tech world, people looked at you funny if you were not a male. This, too, was normal.” Even though some of the smartest engineers and researchers are girls, society still expects men to be engineers and into programming.

Expectations and gender roles play a big part of The Great Gatsby as well as today’s society. In the novel, Tom Buchanan talks about the expectations of Jordan Baker to her family and he states “She’s a nice girl.… They oughtn’t to let her run around the country this way. . . . She’s going to spend lots of week-ends out here this summer. I think the home influence will be very good for her.” (Fitzgerald 18-19) Jordan already has expectations she has to follow. Today, we have these expectations as well, but some of them are changing. For example the ABC news article For Young Boys, Is Pink the New Blue, the author explains that “For generations the view has held strong that while girls must dress in pink to be girls, boys can't do anything with pink, lest they turn into girls.” This expectation seems to be changing as more and more fathers are willing to let their sons dress freely and wear what color they want, instead of following the expectations set dozens of years ago.

Gender roles and equality seemed to be a problem during the time The Great Gatsby was written, and unfortunately today, this problem seems to still be lingering. Today, the problem doesn't seem to be as bad, but it still happens in many occasions. It is unfair for someone to be judged or treated by their gender, it doesn't make sense for women to not get paid as much just for being females, it’s truly backwards thinking.