from Jon of " Out of Africa-Too "
" Irene had come to see me for help. I had met her at the airport and we had spoken as she served me some somosas at a restaurant while I was waiting for a flight to Kigali, Rwanda. People were always interested in the kind of work I did and often wanted to stay in touch about a job or help for a relative. Here was a person who had come to see me because she needed help, had come to the end of herself and felt that maybe I would know what to do. Tears were streaming down her face as she told me that the manager where she worked had asked her to have sex with him in order to keep her job as a waitress at the restaurant. Her salary was only 50 dollars a month but even that was more than most people made who had to yield a shovel all day long.
As she told me her story she said something that touched my heart profoundly, "My problem is, I was born woman." There was such a sadness in her voice, I could tell she was speaking from the depth of her being. It was the cry of her heart, her frustration, her inner war of values; she wanted to be someone of significance who could simply hold a job on the basis of quality work given.
She was not the only one who had told me of such trials and tribulations. Every other woman had been told the same things and it was not unusual what I was hearing, it simply reflected the ongoing practices and was one of the many reasons AIDS had impacted Uganda and other parts of Africa as much as it had. (One woman told me that her husband had confessed to 50 affairs during the period of 12 months)
Africa and women; on the one hand they are the matriarchs of society, simply because they outlive men, on the other hand on their way to getting to be the matriarch, the journey is strewn with pain, tears, sweat, abuse, shame based communication and so much more."read the rest