06:06 am - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Gender prejudice- whose problem is it

By Analytical Rose - Sun Jul 13, 7:44 pm

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Malawi: I am a woman, I better declare that before I carry on because I need to be clear. I have read a lot about how Joyce Banda’s ( ex- Malawi president, first female president) poor showing has swamped chances for women in Malawi.This debate is going on within the country and there are those who think she is responsible for women not getting high places in government and those that feel we are dumping on the woman.There is no denying that there is gender prejudice in the world. This gender prejudice in my experience is no different from racial prejudice. In other words the other person makes decisions about you because you are female even though they don’t know a thing about you and in the case of racial prejudice it is to do with the fact that you have a diferent colour.There is no rationale and a lot of nasty things happen; people are killed, jobs are lost, people are abused because of this baseless hatred which appears to give one group of people an undeserved superiority.

Gender prejudice

Gender prejudice

Because I am woman I have been a victim of gender prejudice and it took years before I was able to ‘look at it’ as opposed to being subjected to it without understanding why I was going through what I was going through. I have seen it all now and I have matured and I can see clearly where the problems are. First of all I do believe that gender prejudice or indeed prejudice of any sort is born of fear of losing control. In terms of gender prejudice it has gone on for centuries and it is a problem well entrenched in our lives. It is wrong! I don’t condon it and it should be blamed, got rid of and condemned. The problem is though that this has gone on for so long that I feel as women we sometimes get brain washed and without really understanding the process that is happening we start self destroying and this is exactly what the ‘opposition’ as I will call them here want! With brain washing comes loss of confidence, we start attacking each other, our mind set is that we do not have respect for ourselves! This is exactly what the prejudiced people exactly want.

What I would like to do in this article is to appeal to women in Malawi. Yes you are right Gender prejudice happens in Malawi and that gender prejudice will use any weapon to perpetuate itself. That gender prejudice has brain washed us to the point where we don’t even realize that we are our own enemy now. The very fact Joyce Banda went for fellow women MPs especially the attacks she leveled very unreasonably at Dr. Jean kalilani is a reflection of this self destruction.In reality Dr Kalilani is a fantastic MP. She does her work extremely well, in fact a lot better than a lot of male MPs What Joyce Banda wanted to do was to destroy this because in her mind this was easier, because she was jealous of a fellow woman,but unfortunately by so doing she was degrading herself because it was so obvious that she was wrong.In fact in private she admired Dr. Kalilani because she tried to entice her with this or that but Dr Kalilani being a woman of her own principles she declined all her baits and then publicly she would castigate her!Not only did she need to mature politically and know how to compliment when it is deserved but she has completely missed the point when it comes to fighting gender prejudice!This is particularly frightening when you consider that Joyce Banda is one of the people who saw or still sees herself as an advocate of women reberation!The problem is quite deep! and it needs to be understood to be able to avoid the traps! However the gender prejudice perpetrators would love this because what then happens is that more women get together to defend a woman they are proud of but look what has happened it’s women versus women(Joyce Banda vs. women pro Jean Kalilani) while the men watch! sad! Luckily for Dr. Kalilani; she’s too educated and balanced and too accomplished as a woman to fall for the trap so she refrained from retaliation! but had she done that then it would have got even more ugly!however that is how gender prejudice is perpetrated and people simply dismiss you as this is women behaviour ignore it! Dangerous!

This scenario repeats itself many times more daily in the world. I would have said that in my work most of the problems I have had have been from fellow women. We get entangled in and sometimes even miss the point. We fail to appreciate the larger picture and so spend energy in the wrong direction. I am afraid this is our war and we have to fight it and the first thing to do is to start feeling genuinely respectful of ourselves. Then respectful of our fellow woman who has achieved etc….Above all, and believe me I know how hard it is to get a top job in this male dominated world! work it! do the job as well as you know how! my experience is that if you do this they change their mind set! respect starts following but be alert because this will never be automatic it is about a slow but progressive way of changing how people see us as women. We need to be consistent.

There is a difference between men and women but there is no superiority between the two groups.Nobody should intimidate you women out there and you men in power help to reduce the persecution of women. Finally while Joyce Banda failed and yes robbed us of the opportunity to show that women can lead a country, she has not really affected this already existing prejudice. She is not every woman she is only one and of mediocre order for that matter!there are so many more capable women in Malawi who could have done better! so don’t blame her for the Malawian woman finding it tough because each one of you women have to fight this prejudice, Joyce Banda or no Joyce Banda and yes avoid embarrassing yourselves but do your best.Stop fighting among st yourselves. Mrs Kaliati you have an opportunity now to take this on because of your job! promote women loving themselves and loving other women don’t be the instrument of one woman against another that is destructive!I don’t have much respect for Joyce Banda but don’t blame her for a pre-existing problem which we need to solve all of us women!!!!

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