An African woman’s reproductive rights are not respected – Moyo

A SOCIAL worker Joseph Moyo says women once married are expected to complete a man’s manhood identity by bearing him children.

Moyo notes that African women have to be forced into having sex even when they don’t want to and yet if the demand it they are seen as being promiscuous and morally unsound.

Moyo, president of The African Woman Foundation (TAWF), said his research findings show that an African woman’s reproductive rights are not respected.

“In our research: ‘Child bearing: Infertility and the African Woman’, we – as TAWF – have discovered that when the African woman is married she is expected to bear children for the ‘man.’ She is expected to do it for the man to complete the man’s identity and manhood. An African man only feels complete when the wife he marries is able to fall pregnant and bear children for him,” he said. “This leaves the African woman vulnerable and unable to make her own decisions on when to get pregnant and how many children she may want to have, despite that the woman is the one to be pregnant. She is the one to suffer for nine months and give birth, but sadly this life altering decision is never hers to make, but rather left for the alpha male to decide on her behalf. The African woman is totally degraded to a mere recipient of a man’s decisions even when those decisions have life threatening implications on her. It’s time the African woman is given a chance to have a say about critical matters of reproductive
health and sexual decisions.” 

Moyo added that there have been many murder incidences of women in Africa simply on the fact they went for birth control to limit the number of children they would have or to space the birth of children for the betterment of their health.

Moyo, who is also president of Lifestyle Health Foundation (LHF), said the African man has always sought to wield so much power and dominance on the African woman.

He said the African woman at most had to be told by a man when to have sex while she has no right at all to indicate when she needs her man sexually.

“Any woman who does that (indicate to her partner that she wants to have sex) in the African context is seen as promiscuous, weak and morally unsound. This gender oppressive thinking has been there for ages and continues in the name of culture and traditions that relegate the woman to the back seat of everything,” Moyo said.

He said the African girl had her fate sealed in many ways through the initiations that take place in Africa in the name of preparing her into womanhood.

“While there might be some good aspects in the initiation of young women in Africa, our findings are that these African initiations mostly are schools that seek to brainwash young girls into thinking their value lies in men, sex, and child bearing and home keeping and not in their individual humanity and potential to thrive independently when educated and empowered in all spheres of life,” Moyo said.
 He said male dominance especially in the sub-Saharan Africa was the root cause of all evils which continue to perpetuate gender oppression and the violation of the rights of women and relegating them to mere robotic elements in society.

“When a girl is raised, initiated, tutored with a picture that leaves her feeling her value is on man and that she is raised for man’s consumption then there lies the problem,” Moyo said. “It is what causes men in most situations to feel no remorse when they rape, violate and sexually abuse women because they will be feeling they just pounced on what was raised for their consumption with full entitlement.”

He noted that in Africa there are more laws and legislation for the protection of endangered animal species and other wildlife with severe penalties and other consequences than there is for men who violate the woman.
Moyo said women had now become an endangered species in need of protection.

He said when an African woman doesn’t conceive she faced lots of challenges and pressures beginning from the husband, family members and then the community.

“The value of the African is always placed on the basis of bearing children and providing sex to the man. This leads to the African woman’s value being limited only to having children for the man and leaves her traumatised when actually the man may be the one who is unable to bear children,” said Moyo.

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