Friday, March 4, 2016

Ladies, I Salute You All!

Tuesday will mark International Women’s Day. While it’s the preserve of Siima and Rudende to accept ‘shout outs’ on their X-FM radio show, in my column, it’s just not the done thing. But what the heck, let me brake the rule today. Here is a shout out to two wonderful ladies – Gaana and Natal (below) and of course, to the Sunday Vision ladies who toil to get this paper out.

This year’s theme I believe, is about ‘a pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias.’

Now ardent readers of my column will by now have sensed a ‘but’ coming, and there is, because there are some things I don’t click about women and their perception of women.
In London in December last year, when Nicole Bentley went to attend a Women’s Institute (WI) meeting, with her newly born daughter who she had to breastfeed, she got a rude awakening. After the meeting, Bentley received an e-mail from the chairwoman of the group, telling her that she was no longer welcomed to their meetings as the other women of the group were aghast at her ‘whipping out her breast to feed her child.’ It is also worth noting that it was an informal evening meeting. 

Reflecting on the incident, Nicole said: “I’m mortified. I know not everyone can breastfeed for different reasons, but I chose to. You can’t see my boobs and my child doesn’t scream the place down. I have to wonder if all WI groups are like this. It’s really bad and to say they are all women! I’m never going back again, that I can tell you.”

But if Bentley had it rough, think about Tulip Siddiq MP, who was given a thorough dressing down by Eleanor Laing, the deputy speaker of UK’s House of Commons. Siddiq was told that under no certain terms was she to 'play the pregnancy card' after leaving a debate to grab a snack.

Siddiq, who was seven months pregnant at the time, had been in the chamber for more than two hours when she decided to take a comfort break. But when she returned 45 minutes later, Mrs. Laing called her over and give her a dressing down in front of other shocked MP by ranting – “You are making women look bad…you are bringing down the whole of womankind!”

In Kampala, there are many hater women. Hater Woman is most unhappy when she sees Sista scaling the heights of corporate ladder through hard work and with no ‘godfather’ helping her up. You can hear her in Silk Liquid whispering to other Woman Hater: “Now look at that one. I heard the reason she got the job was because the slept with HR Man.” If not, its: “Oh, her father pulled strings for her otherwise, she would be nowhere in life.”

The artiste Maddona, (below) in an interview a number of years ago was quoted as saying – “I lost my virginity as a career move.” Madonna was lucky that ‘the career move’ did work out for her and while she has since made amends, today women would have balked at her statement and rightfully told young women, that giving up ones virginity as a career move, is not the way to go.

While Hater Woman will always chip away at the positive inroads into gender equality that Progressive Woman is building for herself and the rest of womanhood, I’ll still wish them a happy Woman’s Day, as indeed all women who were not covered by the ‘shout out’ at the start of the column.        

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