We wholeheartedly associate with the International Women’s Day observed yesterday globally, to recognise the achievements of women in every facet of life and also to mark a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
What a great day to celebrate our women!! Indeed, they deserve more to liberate them from the clutches of social and cultural barriers that impede their ability to unleash their full potential in their contribution to national development.
In recognising and saluting our women for their roles in national development, we would like to recall once more to our readers the famous story of “Mr Moyo goes to the Doctor.”
It was a conversation between the doctor and Mr Moyo that was presented by the Women and Development Sub-committee of the Ministry of Community Development and Community Affairs, Zimbabwe to Women’s Regional Ecumenical Workshop on June 26, 1989in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The conversation goes as follows:“What is your job?’ asked the doctor.
“I am a farmer,” replied Mr Moyo.
“Have you any children?” the doctor asked.
“God has not been good to me. Of 15 born, only 9 alive,” Mr Moyo answered.
“Does your wife work?”
“No, she stays at home.”
“I see. How does she spend her day?”
“Well, she gets up at four in the morning, fetches water and wood, makes the fire, cooks breakfast and cleans the homestead. Then she goes to the river and washes clothes. Once a week she walks to the grinding mill. After that she dashes to the township with the two smallest children where she sells tomatoes by the roadside while she knits. She buys what she wants from the shops. Then she cooks the midday meal.”
“You come home at midday?”
“No, no, she brings the meal to me about three kilometres away.”
“And after that?”
“She stays in the field to do the weeding, and then goes to the vegetable garden to water.”
“What do you do?”
“I must go and discuss business and drink with the men in the village.”
“And after that?”
“I go home for supper which my wife has prepared.”
“Does she go to bed after supper?”
“No, I do. She has things to do around the house until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m..”
“But I thought you said your wife doesn’t work.”
“Of course, she doesn’t work. I told you she stays at home.”
Clearly, Mr Moyo had been able to enumerate the drudgery of work women go through in every moment of their lives, but interestingly, he claims his wife does not work. To him, working only means, perhaps, white-collar job or being on the field as a farmer.
This is a clear case of the many jobs that women engage in, in each passing day that remain unrecognised, unnoticed, unrewarded and unquantified in monetary terms into our Gross Domestic Product.
That, notwithstanding, society has moved on to set aside this day to recognise the indefatigable work our womendo, which was duly acknowledged by Mr Moyo,but failed to recognise due to his conception about work.
The United Nations chose the theme “Breaking the bias: Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” for this year’s celebration, in recognition and in celebration of the women and girls who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation and response and to honour their leadership and contribution towards a sustainable future.
As we salute women for the invaluable roles in society, Ghanaian Times urges the government to expedite action on the passage of the Affirmative Action bill, to increase women’s representation in decision making in public life for sustainable development.
We say Ayeekoo to our Women!!