Cry my beloved daughter

Cry my beloved daughter

Date: October 4, 2017
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By: Bonang Modise

My husband died and left me with 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. I was accused of killing him by his family and they chased me and my children out of my marital house. They took everything and now my children have no inheritance from their father. For now I live in a small farm that my husband left where I plant and sell vegetables as a way to sustain my family. It is not much but it buys uniform and pays school fees.

I walk a long distance every day to the village market carrying my produce in order to sell and make a living for my children. I don’t know how long I have to live with this virus because I feel my body getting weak. Who will take care of my children if I died too soon?

My mother struggles to put food on the table since my father passed on. I am the oldest therefore I have to help out with my brothers and sister daily before I go to school and after school. I don’t have enough time to do my school work properly and I am not performing well at school.

Since we had to move from our house and live in the farm, I walk a long distance every day to school, waking up very early in the morning to help in the house then prepare for school. I don’t know how long I can keep this up, my mother looks very weak, and if she dies I will have to take care of the family.

This means I will have to leave school and find work. But I like school very much, I want to be an engineer one day and build roads and a hospital for my village.

 These are typical but yet, unheard voices, and unspoken words of African women who face many troubles in life due to gender discrimination. Whether it is North Africa or southern Africa, gender discrimination in Africa affects all women similarly. Women are deprived of the fruits of what they laboured for with their spouses therefore denying children of their rightful inheritance. Children miss out on a full childhood and proper education due to sacrifices they must make in order to survive.  AIDS related deaths have taken parents away from children leaving them as orphans and vulnerable to emotional, physical and sexual abuse by anyone who is able to do so.

Where are the laws that protect these people? Our lack of legislation and policies that protect women and children deny them of the basic human rights that include freedom from discrimination, right to life, liberty and personal security.

Our constitutions and laws disgrace, degrade and deface women whether young or old. We need legislation and policies that protect, nurture, support and sustain females’ young and old, woman and girl child for a better Africa regionally, nationally and even locally in our homesteads.

“Young Women Alliance”

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