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The Place of Women
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Gender is an issue that pre-existed and continued to elicit sundry feelings in the society. It has its pedigree from the most legendary story told in the divine book of God. In the Bible, as many gender issues and battles for supremacy amid the women and men rapture into debates, the man is always given the upper hand. “The woman was formed after the man” a proposer for manhood will begin, and then continue, “she was crafted to be an assistant to the man”; and then the argument ensues ultimately leading to the case developments we view today in every part of the world. What is noteworthy is that there is not much disparity between the first and third world nations, when it concerns women. The developed and under-developed, democratic and dictatorship ruled the world, the communist and the socialist civilizations, and shamefully to add, even in religion.
The war for liberation from colonization may have ended hundreds of years ago or a few decades ago, depending on the country, but this is not indicated, when it comes to gender oppression liberalization. The different worlds continue to struggle, as the world societies of women take shape depending on their categorization. Just as famous writers and advocates for gender emancipation write in their literary materials, there are the classes of the ”escaped”, the “entrapped” and the rebellious. This is according to the literature must-read by Dangarembga called Nervous Conditions. She is not the only writer, who is in the race towards liberating the oppressed and voiceless from their different forms of oppression. Others, noteworthy and deserving of recognition, express similar views and thoughts as pertaining gender equality. In the road to emancipation, to liberty, to achieving gender equality, there are many potholes, mountains, rivers, and other sorts of challenges for women.
As in the book Nervous Condition there are several characters of women that illustrate the way the society is divided about the place and responsibility of women. This is especially so, when the lives of these women are compared, as they unfold before the men in their lives. The story is very moving emotion and motivation wise, as well as very educative. The most outstanding lesson from this story is that of recognizing the dignity of beings, and especially the female being. The story depicts women as they engage in activities that lead them to overcoming the desolations of colonialism; therefore, taking control of their personal lives. The various women wage war towards salvaging the appropriate traditions from their culture, while molding them into practices that can be celebrated. Through the story, we also view the positions taken by the society and, specifically, some men concerning this whole battle of equality for the exes.
From the story headline, Tambu, one of the characters, is a girl with a brother sibling. With the African society setting, the boy child is given priority over the girl counterpart. This is clearly oppression and violation of the human rights at the most basic level of education. This girl cannot go to school, unless the boy is eliminated from the family. This is the reason why Tambu does not even mourn, when her brother dies, as she realizes that her opportunity to proceed in life has come. It is not that she is emotionless, but she is showing the resilience that women need to make it in this “man-eat-man society”. From this rare opportunity for many of the African female children, we see the significance attached to educating the women. She takes the opportunity, not only to help herself, but the whole society at large. This is clear from the final effect that she has on the society after she has completed her studies.
Additionally, there are other several women in the story that clearly show the position that most of the societies have given to the female gender. For instance, the view of life of Tambu’s mother is that of the “entrapped” females. She is blindly bound by the social stratifications of colonialism and the laws of her traditions and culture. As a consequence of her gender, she has taken the position the society has designated to her and other women in the society. This is to be viewed as only a mere possession of her husband. It is funny to note that she, Tambu’s mother, is the reason why the children are able to attend school, as well as the family is fed. The so called “men of the house” are rarely available to assist in any way for the progress of the family. As a result, she remains tied to the chains of poverty and will never attain the quality standards as the educated whites and African people.
Another woman is Miguru, who is educated, but suffers the same fate as many other women. She still remains subject to the stipulations of her social order and husband despite her education; hence, becoming indignant of her entrapment. Nyasha is depicted as rebellious. She has earned the benefits of British education and realizes that the treatment that the African traditions bequeath the woman is not befitting of her. Consequently, she remains resilient and rebellious, as she has no ties with the traditions of her people. She is a good representative of what the women, who dare to be different, face in the society. She is highly discriminated against; therefore, finding herself without a home. She struggles to make both ends meet as life is very difficult on her own and with all the opposition she is facing. She even goes to extend of thinking that the efforts she is making may just kill her. She tells the story of most liberated women around the world, who dare to take the challenge to emancipate themselves.
However, Tambu is the clear promise of the “escaped” female. From her education she is able to have a more vintage view of the differences of the social status and the gender equality. She has had the experience that the woman faces in the African culture and despite having the foreign education, she remains cautious of her ethnic heritage. This is the best approach that the woman is given according to Dangarembga to counter the effects of the male-dominated world. The writer of the story, herself, is vivid in her illustration of the place of a woman in the society, as she is personally struggling to make her breakthrough in the male-dominated world.
The fight towards the emancipation of the female gender is also present in the mighty and developed nations. Though the discrimination may take a different perspective, the stories are repeated across the world. For instance, the USA is still facing challenges in balancing the employment sector between the genders. The amount of pay is equally discriminative against the female gender, as the males make more than women, even in the same level of work. Moreover, women have been pushing for a paid maternity leave still remains a dream in several nations, with the USA among those condemned for not taking the initiative to enact the Family and Medical Leave Act. Additionally, most women, who work in America, do not get benefits of work, as the women in other nations across the globe do.
The incidences of gender-associated violence cannot be over emphasized. This is clearly indicated in the statistical analysis of across the world. For instance, in the developed countries like the USA and Canada, the prevalence of sexual and physical violence against women is alarming. Nearly half of the women, who are over sixteen years of age, have had their fate with one form of gender violence in these countries. This is a case that is repeatedly observed in other countries, developed or under developed. Women clearly need relief and emancipation.
The role of leadership, according to the society, has been given to one gender. No matter how much the people have tried to balance the corridors of power, it still remains evident that female leadership is not prioritized. The women are underrepresented, despite the fights that have been advanced to ensure gender equality. The world over, Africa, Asia, Europe, America, and to the far poles, the woman is still struggling to make her ability to lead felt.
Clearly, the treatment of women is similar across the world. There is no difference between the developed and underdeveloped, colonized and civilized countries. The woman is still in the chains of oppression. She needs to be emancipated.
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