Two weeks in a row I have watched videos through social media of women battering fellow woman on suspicion that she is cheating on their husband.
When I saw the first video of about three women, stripping naked, beating and urinating on a fellow woman accusing her of cheating on their friend’s husband I thought I had seen enough. The news that they had been arrested came a s a relief and I was excited that victim will get justice.
But that was not the end of such atrocity perpetrated by women on fellow women. The second video of again about three women stripping naked and battering a fellow woman just because she got a ride in one of women’s husband car was too much for me to bear.
Despite the victim’s many pleas and apologies for accepting the lift, the women paid no attention to her—they were hell bent at “teaching her a lesson”. So, went on to beating her up—breaking the flower pot in her head, pulling her hair and throwing all manner of obscenities at the victim who looked hopeless and helpless that she didn’t even dare to escape from the pangs of her attackers.
Malawi, just like the rest of other countries in Africa and the world over, is grappling with the issue of gender-based violence which often is perpetrated by men. However, one area that most of those who advocate the end to violence against women forget to make mention of the fact that the most brutal of violence against women is one perpetrated by women against their fellow women.
The two Lilongwe cases are just a tip of the iceberg and I may even add that thanks to social media these issues are now coming to fore. However, there remains so many cases that go unreported. Cases of women ganging up against fellow women are quite many and go unpunished because somehow society thinks a woman beating up a fellow woman on suspicion that she is cheating with her husband is alright—so such case don’t even get reported to the police.
Women are always fighting fellow women and literally pulling each other down. If it’s not physical fight it’s psychological fight. We see this even in workplaces where some women are at the forefront of bad-mouthing fellow women and justifying why they shouldn’t be promoted.
The two cases at hand reminds us that the fight for women empowerment and ending violence against women will never be won if women still look at a fellow woman with contempt and jealous.
In both cases, I am yet to hear the name of the men involved. Now, that’s where I have a problem. If a woman suspects that her man is cheating, if it were me, I would not waste my time and energy beating up another woman rather I would deal with the man.
If your husband is cheating on you, deal with him because he is the one you made vows with not the other woman. Take him to task on why he is breaking the marriage vows. I do not condone the behaviour of some women who deliberately go out with married men. But, it is wrong to lay the blame on one person—the woman as if she was acting alone.
Ladies, we have been the laughing stock of the nation since the two Lilongwe incident were made known. Men are frowning upon our fight against gender-based violence. Some are even saying they have always known that most of the violence against women is perpetrated by women—which I am now inclined to believe.
Why would one want to embarrass a fellow woman, because of a man? That’s not enough reason ladies. So what happens after you beat up your man’s mistress? You are addressing the symptoms and not the root cause. The problem is not that mistress but your man. Deal with him.
If you invested same energy you spend in hating each other to empowering each other, this country could be a role model in women empowerment.
We need a united front to win the gender-based violence fight otherwise any sign of disunity amongst ourselves as women, will only exacerbate violence against women.
A huge thank you to the law enforcers for moving in swiftly and prosecuting these women who bring nothing but shame to the women folk.