African Women

This essay has a total of 2987 words and 12 pages.

African Women



Introduction

70% of African women with disabilities get them from their husbands. In Africa, most women have little or no rights. This effects what they can do for work, how their family life is, and what future they have. Women throughout time, especially in African culture, have always been subservient to men. The status of women in Africa is second-rate. In countries like the United States, women have the same rights as men and are almost equal. But in Africa itís totally different. Women have to know that they should be equal to men. It's important to understand that every race is discriminated at one point in time. This should not happen if we have a realization. This understanding would be realizing that everyone put on this planet was created equal.


DEFINE THE PROBLEM

Women, unfortunately, have been very discriminated against, even in this century. Women are so cruelly thought of that now, women see nothing wrong with mental and physical cruelty towards them. Since the status of women in Africa, is so low, it has caused many men to overpower womenÖphysically. More and more women are being beaten and thinking that it is okay because the women think men are superior to them. A frightening fact is that 16 2/3 percent of women are battered by their partners and 46% of these cases the children are beaten too. "If you go to the police and complain that your husband is abusing you or hitting you the authorities would think, ĎOh well she probably deserved it!"í Said Lindy Mieza. A woman named Geli wrote about her life in which she says, "My motherÖshe constantly suffered terrible physical and mental abuse from himÖ" Fifty percent of women in Africa women will be raped in their life time.. There were 23,806 rapes in the first six months of 1996. And what worse is that police estimate that for every rape reported another thirty-five takes place. South Africa, "Already confronting the worlds worst murder rate the country has a harrowing new fact to face: there is a rape every 25 seconds.." Geli wrote, "Being raped doesnít mean itís by some you donít know, I was raped by my husband and his friendsÖ" In conclusion, when men over power women, women feel less and less important and the status of women becomes worse.
Poverty is a problem because most children who grow up in poverty, die there. They donít necessary get shot or killed, they end up not being able to climb out poverty and get a decent job, especially women. Women in Africa are forced to be prostitutes because they need to support their family. When women do this they end up having a bigger family. Women live in poverty in a disproportionate number. "My mother lived and died in poverty and so did her mom, one day I will too because I have no food or money." "Why have women become so much poorer? There is no one reason. In countries like Kenya and India, cut backs resulting from the International Monetary Fundís and Structural adjustment policies (SAPís) have affected women most because they are the main recipients of education and health." There are more women than men in poverty. Out of the 4.3 million displaced 80% of them are women. In a study carried out over 20 years the number of rural women in poverty has increased by 50% reaching an awesome 565 million. "Poverty has influenced womenís lives more than any factor over the last decade." If women are in poverty they will not be able to help fight to gain their rights.
For many many years, generations of girls would and will give up their education for their brother because he getting an education is more important than her getting one. Lindy Mieza once said, "If you look at our country, it is the women who are the first to dropped at school to give places to their brothers." Girls in Africa get a second class education. Many girls have dropped out of school because they were raped and need to take care of their babies that have no fathers. "I once went to school, but then I was raped and had a baby." A fourteen year old girl told a reporter. Women should be able to go to school just like men but, "Only the wealthiest girls are able to obtain an education." , There are 52 million boys who do not go to primary school. But their are 77 million girls who donít go to school where one learns the two most important things, reading and writing. Because women are that last ones in schools and the first ones out, obviously they are the ones who canít read. If one took out nine hundred illiterate people, women would out number men two to one. In Africa, 68.3% of the women can not read. If women arenít educated then they wonít get jobs and will have no way for a secure future.

Causes

Women are taught in their tribes and cultures that it is all right for men to mistreat them. This is not helping women realize that they donít have to be treated the way they are. Tribal women are brought up thinking itís okay for them to be menís slaves. Once an African woman said "I came to the conclusion that part of our problems with menÖis that we were brought up to see out lives incomplete without them. We were taught to consider man as our superiors, the absolute rulers not only of our home but of our lives too." Geli said "Customs and tradition told us it was normal for men to lie and abuse to cheat and domineerÖ" Geliís mom was abused by her husband as well as her Grandmother was abused and so was she. Geli grew up think it wasnít wrong for men to hit women. She Grew up thinking it was all right for her husband to hit her. It wasnít till American groups came and told her what her husband did was illegal, after that, she left him "Women were told we were duty-bound, to remain steadfast and faithful; to our husband no matter what they did do to us or how undeserving of our affections they were" If women keep growing up thinking that it is right for men to overpower then women will never be equal to men.
Since men make up all of the laws and rules most laws proteins only to men. Laws are only fair to man. Black women of Africa have suffered the most because of discriminating laws. Up in till this century women couldnít own property, vote. Get jobs, and sometimes even leave the house. "The women acknowledge that under apartheid, womenís issues were pushed to the back burner while black men and women fought together for liberation. But now women are devoting attention to old and pervasive obstacles. The whole system has placed women in a inferior position." Women were not involved in any environmental decisions or economical decisions. Woman had different jail sentences then men. If a woman killed any one she would be put to a torturous death. If a man he would get a life time sentence with a chance of parole. In Kangaroo courts, punishment for women can be rape by a government official(s). Nelson Mendela the Prime Minister of South Africa once said, "I pay tribute to the mothers and wives of our nation. You are the rockhard foundation of our struggle. Apartheid has inflicted more pain on you than anyone else." Women canít be equal to men if laws donít allow them to. "If you donít get a chance to take part in you laws you donít take part in the rules the govern you life" said Mrs. Shays.

Obstacles

In African women are very prone to getting diseases. Women not only have to deal with having no rights but they also have to deal with disease. "At the hospitals we see women who are brought in wheel barrows who have had ten pregnancies and have ruptured uteruses. They die in those wheel barrows. In America you have 911. You call on a telephone and an ambulance comes. Here we canít call on a phone because their are none and you canít call for an ambulance because their are none." Also malnutrition, starvation, AIDS, and even diarrhea are deadly in Africa. "29.3 percent of pregnant women have AIDS." Nelson Mendela once said "We must give health to the aged to the pregnant women and to the young children." Doctors are rare and expensive in Africa. Many people who need them canít afford them. Women are the main people who take care of the family, and because if they are busy fighting off disease they canít fight for their rights.
Being sick put a damper on a womenís attitudes. The attitudes of women's rights are very poor, women and men have bad attitudes about it. Forty women with the idea of them

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