Paper and Ink, Series

Paper and Ink: The Golden Egg

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

You would think that after crying for equal rights and emancipation women would have come a long way by now. But instead we are held back, not for lack of these rights but by the very rights we fought so hard for.

The old adage, Fate has two ways of crushing us, by granting our wishes and denying them couldn't ring truer. We asked for emancipation and it crushed us beneath its welcome weight. Many women are still trying to find that strength to stand on par with men in the same circumstances.

Men take offense when they hear about women emancipation. Get this straight, we don't want to take over your roles and positions, we want to be set free. Women occupied a subservient position because they were regarded as the weaker sex. We want out of the restraints that held us back. Who says we can't go to school or start up a business? We can think and sit just as well as the men do.

We say freedom, you hear uprising. We simply want the right to choose for ourselves.

Sadly, it is us women who set our sights too low. We don't believe we can be presidents or emperors; we would rather manage homes and families. Our mothers spent hours in the kitchen and raised us to feel that if you were a good cook you could manage your life equally as well. And so we measure success with meals and marriages and families.

Being unmarried by a certain age is that sore thumb that throbs and turns people's stomachs. There must be something wrong with you.

Being married without children is a reminder to your relatives to pester you with unasked for advice and cover you in prayers. After all, a family isn't complete without little ones.

Marriage is drummed into every little girl's dreams, through the games they play and watching mothers play wives. It is the most we hope to achieve for ourselves.

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