With their apologies, Ronald Kibuule and Onesmus Twinamatsiko did what every abuser does. And like all other incidents where women have had to accept apologies because we want to believe that they represent some kind of sign that the person understands what abuse is and will do something about it, in our private spaces, we have kept the same optimism.
Domestic violence shelters are still a novelty in Uganda. Many times when women are beaten, they run to their parents and relatives for refuge. These relatives invariably send them back to their abusive spouses because they cannot afford to refund bride price or because leaving a relationship is seen as not just the woman’s failing but the family’s by extension as well. A shelter serves to break this cycle of violence to give women respite from abuse.
It has been a tough week with several news reports of Domestic Violence across the country… but the Kabaka’s Birthday is going to throw much needed energy into fight against fistula, and Jacqueline Kasha is to be honored by Harvard Law!
Seriously, without ministering gender, how shall we identify those who have a God-given right to walk around bare-chested from those who must be stripped naked at the mere show of their knees? Those who play with toy cars from those who must only be interested in playing with dolls? The ones of high heels from those of flat, firmly grounded footwear? How shall we know who must be respected by default and who can only earn respect, if ever, by being passive and subordinate and beholden in their place, however oppressive? Most importantly, how can society continue to exist if we can’t tell the baby in pink from the one in blue?
“I earn 90.000 Ugandan shillings per month from three small rentals, but he has been trying to sell my property all that time, leaving me with no money. I have no expectations for my life and I live in the constant fear that my husband will come back any time to kill me and my children. When you are a woman you have no voice. Men are allowed to do whatever they want and they never get punished”