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Sunday, February 21, 2016

WOMEN IN SANDEMA – JULIANA ACHIM 


As a native of Sandema and in my process of becoming a fully-grown woman, I think I am the right person to provide information about women in Sandema, as purely traditional and native women in this community have raised me. 

To describe who we address as a woman in Sandema, I would say that any female who is 25years of age and above and is married as well. This is because no matter how grown you are, you can only attain full womanhood if you find yourself bearing the name of a man and living in another mans house rather than your father’s. 

Women in Sandema are always busy with petty trading especially on market days. Market days here are on a three days interval. Most women in Sandema are known mostly to be cooks, taking care of children in the family, cleaning the house and keeping everything tidy.

Aside from that, most of them do the following to earn a living; burning of charcoal, cutting and selling of firewood and petty trading, which they are engaged in mostly on market days. 

Only a few women in Sandema are teachers, nurses, Police, Fire personnel and other professions of high esteem in our country. Young ladies also engage in hairdressing and dress making. With this area of business, ladies attend this in a form of apprenticeship and after they have been passed out or graduated, they can then begin their own hair dressing business or dress making shops and train other ladies as well. This particular sector of business usually engages ladies who have not been to school or have dropped out of school. 

Marriage in Sandema means a lot to our women because as I mentioned earlier, it is a sign that shows your full maturity and transition in to womanhood. Ladies therefore keep themselves well; thus, they appear in beautiful garments, nice hair do and make sure they keep themselves in high esteem in order to attract the best men they can get for marriage. 

They also make sure that they learn how to cook, clean, wash and take care of children and a family at large.  They also make sure that they are highly educated or have a stable job they are doing. This is because, responsible men look for such qualities in choosing their bride and therefore every growing woman learns this from their mothers and local homes.

It is therefore embarrassing if at the age of 30 a woman in my community fails to get a man to marry her, they will feel ashamed of themselves and their family members will use this as a means of insulting her if she should make a little mistake. In an attempt of such ladies trying at all cost to get men to marry them, they end up being tagged as prostitutes as they will jump from one man to another who may even be younger in age than them luring them to marry her. 
Women in Sandema really don’t have power in terms of decision making in homes and in the society at large. In traditional homes specifically, women have no say in decisions concerning the house or in finding solutions to problems or issues bothering the family. 

Women here therefore, have grown to get use to it especially in the local homes and have accepted their husbands to be the head of the family and have veto power in making the final decision. 

I therefore want to challenge women in Sandema to go with the saying that ‘’what men can do, women can do even better” and not look down upon their potentials. I want them to know that they are stronger than they think. 

I have seen people turn their backs in the face of challenges and done nothing when in fact they had all it took to overcome the very things that enslaved them. I want to encourage you to see a little farther than you are seeing right now, look deeper into yourself, you’ll find that you are much stronger than you have allowed yourself to be. 

I challenge you to hold on and don’t give up soon. You can do it because you have the power of a WOMAN.

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