“Everything about us is shameful. It’s shameful to get a divorce in a rural community, it is shameful for you to complain about your husband in particular, especially if he was your cousin, and shameful for you to do I don’t know what else. A woman must make a decision before she loses her life or the life of her children. For me, it wasn’t only my life that was wasted, but also the lives of my children…”.
I couldn’t do anything for her, I continued on my way after he smacked her on the head in the middle of the street. He hit her so hard that she almost fell to the ground. She was 13 or 14 years old, and she did not dare lift her head after he hit her, while he repeated: “you filthy dog.”
I was lounging in the garden, in front of one of the hospitals, working on some stories, when a security officer turns to my niece and says: “What’s up black girl?”. This stopped me in my tracks and I turned to him and asked him, what are you trying to achieve by saying that? He replied: “It was a joke.”
It is as if the body is prohibited from attaining its own identity through its own personal experience, and then it also has to seek after unrealistic perfection standards which do not exist in this day and age..
The revolution is postponed because of the epidemic, but it’s not over. The longing for freedom and democracy will reassert itself but it will not do so automatically. Unless the longing reasserts itself our democratic futures are in jeopardy.
There are many regime apologists out there. We are constantly being hammered by advice to take the intentions of the power that be at face value, give them a chance, they say… Yes, a pathetic nationality law petition has been thrown out there with much publicity to the extent that it has been convincing for some… Yet, the lived realities of women, their experiences of injustice, exclusion and discrimination have not changed but rather worsened.