As the curtains close on the month of March, 2022, we bid farewell to a month dedicated to celebrating women. Sadly, this year the wars in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Northern Nigeria, Somali, Ukraine, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and many other places in the world are a stark reminder of how brutal and violent our male dominated world has been, and continues to be.
The mobilisation for the Third World War by the US and its NATO Western allies against Russia and its allies too, using Ukraine as the initial geographical theatre of armed warfare, has further exposed the vulnerable, precarious and unfree condition of women in our world today. It is women who are condemned to suffer the anxiety, second by grinding slow second, waiting to hear the news about the fate of the men they have left on the warfront. These men could be their brothers, fathers, grandfathers, and so on, whom the powerful men who lead the US, Western Europe and Russia deem expendable, on the battle field.
In all wars it is women who are forced to flee their homes, turned into refugees, and made to suffer with children to find safety, water, food, medicines and shelter, in strange lands, as powerful men play out their violent war games for military and economic superiority.
To confirm that men and the world they have created in their male image regard women as inferior creatures, see how in Ukraine all men 18 up to 60 years have been ordered to remain in the country and fight Russia, while women and children are free to flee to assumed safety. Adult women are deemed too weak to fight and stomach the brutality of war.
Both the US and its Western European allies and Russia have put their chemical, biological, and nuclear war machineries on red alert. The world is just a finger away from a nuclear war. Such a war will kill all human life, including the women refugees fleeing from these wars. The chemical, biological and nuclear war weapons have all been fashioned by men, to kill other men, but now threaten to kill all life on Earth.
Could it be that because women bear life, and birth it, and for this almighty power to create and nurture life, men fear women, and this fear is the cause of male suppression, repression, domination and exploitation of women? Until this era of modern biology, men did not understand how the miracle of life inside a woman takes place.
Even in this age of freely available scientific knowledge, many men are ignorant about the biological and psychic powers which create, gestate, mature and brings forth a living human being from the body of a woman. Those men who know, to free men from this life creating power of the woman, are inventing ways to grow human life outside the body of a woman. They cannot succeed to replace the original naturally evolved design of human life germinating and maturing inside a woman first, before it is released into the world.
For more than 120 years now women have celebrated the month of March in general, and on March the 8th, every year, they recount the journey they have travelled in their struggles for their emancipation.
This year is a particularly sad year for women who care to know: that which they give birth to, Man, threatens to kill all human life on Earth, including all women, should nuclear war erupt during the war between the US and its allies and Russia, in Ukraine.
Women must confront how that which they give birth to, Man, violently organises power and society, for himself. For more than 120 years women have been fighting for bits and pieces of fragments of freedom from Man, sometimes they have got them, many times they have failed.
Rights to: equal treatment, work, voting, maternity leave, child care facilities at work places, access to land, start and own businesses, inheritance, education, bodily autonomy, access to contraceptives, abortion rights, divorce, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, citizenship – these and many more are fights and battles still not fully won, for the majority of women. Women need freedom from male violence.
Every year the right to representation in all decision-making bodies and structures has been a key demand. More than anything else, the small number of women in powerful positions in a world made in the image of Man and for men, best illustrates how so little progressive has been made, in the struggle for equality between men and women, in a world made by men for men.
Tellingly, in Zambia, last year, women are a large share of our registered voters but only 10 percent mayoral or council chairperson positions were won by women. Only 14 percent of women were elected as councillors. A disproportionately smaller number of women were parliamentary candidates and an even smaller number made it to parliament. A select few women have made it into the permanent secretary position and as heads of state institutions. Women are a tiny minority in cabinet. In all these cases, the fact that Zambia has more females than males is not manifested. We are yet to have a female president.
Why has it taken more than a century for women to secure, in a very uneven way, the few rights so essential for their emancipation and for equality between men and women? To answer this question, we must understand how powerful men organise economic power and through this, create institutions to manage society, including governments.
It is so plain and very obvious, that men have allocated themselves ownership of wealth, and control of how wealth is produced, distributed, circulated and consumed in society. Deprived of wealth by men, the woman can only survive by attaching herself to a man, who has wealth or more opportunities to acquire wealth. Anyone who survives by being fed by another is forced to behave as an inferior being to the one who feeds them. Therein lies a source of the oppression, suppression, domination and exploitation of women: men dominate in possession of wealth and how it is produced, by also depriving women of wealth, and how it is produced.
It follows that in such a male dominated economy and society, the men regard and treat women as their property, just as they do to their children and their wealth. What the Woman has been doing for more than 120 years, through piecemeal struggles, is to fight for equal access to wealth and the means by which it is produced, so that full equality between the sexes can be achieved.
To sustain such a male dominated society, behaviours, rules, customs, traditions, regulations, laws, constitutions and institutions have been created by powerful men to sustain male domination of women through male monopoly of wealth and how it is produced, and consumed.
Men fear women, because they are the bearers of life; a power man do not have. To contain their fear, they dominate in the world of production and have created a world system of economic organisation of society to protect their dominance in the economy and therefore through this, in society too. They sort out the violent competition among themselves by the use of sanctioned behaviours, rules, customs, traditions, regulations, laws and constitutions failing which war is the final arbiter.
As we close March 2022, women must not stop thinking and fighting about a world free of suppression, oppression, domination and exploitation of women; therefore, a world free of war.
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