Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Unsung heroines: Malawian grandmothers and rural women

We are a very ungrateful society at all levels. In our homes, communities, social gatherings, workplace and even at the political playing field. Notwithstanding 52% of Malawian population, our service to the suffering of grandmothers and the rural women is awful to say the least.

The rural woman deserves a very big pat on which ever part you can think of. She has come of age and maintained our existence as a nation that continues to struggle with corrupt male chauvinism. Not forgetting the ageing grand mother who is now burdened with costly decisions of their children in the light of AIDS. A 2005 poverty study shows that some households in rural Malawi are as big as 27 and its the women that are taking care of such households. No one seems to care and most often we think this normal

Despite all these burdens the rural woman moves on. I imagine the ever increasing number of orphans that rock our country. As we go enmasse to the graves, the rural woman seems to bear the most burden. She still has to walk long distances to fetch water. She has to give birth in dangerous circumstances often without the help of a trained medical practitioner. She has to walk long distances to access a poorly stuffed clinic to vaccinate her baby. No one seems to care. She has to farm while the males are drinking kachasu and expecting to be fed as if its their right to do so. She has to endure abusive husbands who for some reason have been programmed to think beating a powerless woman is cultural. The women suffer in silence and they dont faulter. They still lead us.

Come election time. They are ferried in lorries all over the country to sing for ungrateful corrupt politicians with their big bellies. Politicians who pride themselves in riches aquired through unorthodox means. The rural woman is then told to vote..they are the ones that put politicians in power.

Rural women are the biggest voting block in Malawi. They make people Presidents and MPs....and they are the ones least served by them. Whither Malawi! I cry for the rural woman and the grandmother! What a nation! Very ungrateful.


Fingani Mphande said...

Alick, this is a good thought. Sometimes we forget how much a rural woman goes through nad yet she still keeps a smile on her face, takes care of her family, and hopes for a better day to come.

Its a great piece you have put together here. Keep it up!

Fingani Mphande said...

Malawian men (some of you), this is an eye opener..lets work together to make a rural woman a happy woman instead of overloading her with unwanted and unnecessary burdens which can be avoided if we take responsibility.. Azibambo woyeeeeeeeee

George Ng'ambi said...

OOOH! Alick, I feel like crying right now. The image of my mum sprung to my mind. She is poor and open to exploitation.What you have written is very true and sadly as a society we ignore these issues.


Enya Akulu mukunenesga, GOGO ni munthu wakuzgirwa nyengo zose ngani umo tikuyowoyele nyengo zose kuti walala nchi godo cha moto, nangauli nyengo zinyake ta wanthu tiku nda ka luwa pala tili mu thengele(town).

Pitirizgani mulimo uwemi uwu muli kuyuyamba uwu.

Yewo chomene.