Brutal marriage

Date: June 11, 2017
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Name of article:  Brutal marriage

Name of publication: Thaha-Khube FM

Country: Lesotho

Theme: Women


Brief description of the item of work you submitted and motivation of why it is a good example of gender awareness and sensitivity in advancing gender equality Post-2015.

This story is disclosing how a woman who got married in her neighbourhood, and has been ill-treated by her in-laws just because of money. This woman claims that she has been in a brutal marriage since the first week in of marriage. Her husband enjoys bringing concubines in her house to sleep with them in presence. Even when she is not at her house when she comes back to her house she every time finds used condoms under mat, pillows and everywhere possible she could. Sometimes when she gets home she claims she could find her husband naked wearing nothing but only condom with a naked woman.

The only conversation they have with her husband is about his concubines which some of them are her own friends. The in-laws are claiming their brother is no longer womaniser and this woman is only holding on to the pasts. This in-laws find their sister in-law to be an illiterate housewife who does not deserve to be spoiled by her husband and even blame her husband for buying a car for her that is well registered in her name. They say she does not want to associate herself with their family and she is also coursing fights in their family and even takes them to courts which they find as the taboo to their family.

This woman says her sister in-law has even gone to an extent of trying to kill her unborn child saying she hates her that much while this sister in-law also claims her brother’s wife hates her to the point of trying to destroy her marriage too. His husband has turned in to her stalker because of the rumors that his wife is cheating on him.


Why did you produce the story? What problem or context is it responding to?

A large number of the women in Lesotho understand less about gender issues most of them feel treated like children in their marriages. Their husbands make decisions for them. However, some women who are abused in their marriages don’t take that as abuse; rather believe it is the way of sustaining marriages. In other cases, women who report cases of abuse face the stigma of being found by the in-laws to be bad women who can’t endure yoke of marriage and these women can end up being returned to their mothers’ houses.

Traditionally, it is like women who endure abuse and don’t report such cases are mostly in favour of their in-laws, at the end they enjoy being called real women, whereas in reality they are seeking favour from their in-laws at a high cost of their lives and this only leaves them devastated and broken inside, their painful stories are endless. Through this radio show, I encourage both men and women to be open and share their life stories to stop women and children abuse, it is awful how abuse is destroying families. I believe abuse must be stopped at all cost.

Key objectives

What did you hope to achieve with this coverage?

A woman says her husband abuses her even tells her of his concubines and has intercourse with her own friends and her in-laws ill-treat her.

Target audience

Who did you hope to reach? Did you succeed in reaching this audience? What evidence do you have to that effect?

  • Motsoako- Oa- Bophelo is one of the radio shows that have always been there since day one of the opening of our radio station with the content that slightly changes as it rapidly grows. It is a mid-morning show that runs between 9 am till 12 noon.
  • Our target audience is women and men as well as young people who are not at school or at work between 9am and 12 noon we target the audience that can be able to listen to our radio at that period. Both men and women we help them understand their human rights as well as their responsibilities. We also advise them on issues
  • around their domestic rules and regulations as well as their responsibilities in the family e.g. not to make rules in the families that are against the law, such as betting wife/husband if he/she breaks the rules of the family.
  • We also allow young people to voice out how they relate to their parents and help them understand the generational gap between them and their parents. We advise them on burning issues such as HIV and AIDS, pregnancy as well as informal marriages.

How did you go about producing the programme?

How did you gather the data, how many sources, female and male did you consult? Why did you choose these sources and how were their voices important?

I talked to the abused woman and her friends, the neighbours, her in-laws, the local chief and the actual perpetrator.


What impact did it have? What evidence do you have to illustrate impact?

Please provide any examples of feedback that you received from the articles (from websites, letters, etc.)

I’ve had Facebook comments, phone-in program and WhatsApp communication as well as many people who are calling me to also share their stories too e.g. Women who are also willing to share their stories off-air so that they may also get help. Two boys who were homeless after their mother’s death, who was four months in the mortuary due to financial problems, were brought to me by the community, after being neglected by their family.

On the day I aired their story luckily the Minister of Social Development was listening to my radio show while she was still listening to my show she phoned in and immediately after the show summoned me to her office to address the situation of this children. She said they needed immediate help then found the shelter for them, now their lives are safe they are living at the orphanage Centre.

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Follow up

How would you conduct a follow up to your story and why?

I held a family gathering for both of these families. According to my findings there is too much tension and malice that can result in to death if nobody can stand up to easy this tension. Both sides of the in-laws believe their side of the story is right but at least there are open for the talks.

The husband wants his child to be taken to the boarding school or else he will never take care of him by any means. I have also discovered that whipping the wives it is a trend of that husband’s family, actually there is a misunderstanding, there

is a believe amongst themselves that because this woman has in number of cases reported his abusive husband she is not a good wife she should have endured all the sufferings instate of running to the law as well as the media. There was a Pastor who went through the similar situation in his marriage and now he is a motivational speaker. The purpose is to enlighten these families that there are bad experience in life but there is always a way out.

After engaging lawyer who was debunking these families on matters of law especially law concerning marriage matters. The chief recommend that the woman may be rescued from her in-law in every possible way even if it takes them to divorce it will be ok, because that family is not violent to that woman alone but also to many people in that community. We found a lawyer for her after assessing her situation. Now this woman is assisted with the process of divorce. She has also been assisted to get court interdict against his husband who turning himself into as stalker and threatening to kill her.


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