Pulse Blogger Something has got to change

Left to me, women should be celebrated every single day of the year for all we have to go through in this world. And that’s the point of my post today.

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Black Woman

(Huffington Post)
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Sitting in the car, making my way to work this morning, I just felt tired. Today is March 8 and all around the world, women are being celebrated.

Left to me, women should be celebrated every single day of the year for all we have to go through in this world. And that’s the point of my post today.

There is so much to celebrate, it’s true. There are many wonderful women out there taking bold actions; it’s true.  And it is also true that we have come a long way baby. Still, I felt so sad. Because, for all the good things happening to women, there is still so much bad.

The other day, I was watching a clip of a woman being whipped somewhere in Africa. She had been caught committing adultery. She was lying in the dust, writhing in pain as some other woman (the mother of her husband I believe) whipped her over and over.  Adultery is a sin. I do not condone it. More importantly neither does God. She was wrong to do it but so was the man she did it with. Where was he? And why was he not being whipped along with his co-culprit.

Funny enough, this is not new. Far back as Bible times, it was the same. Remember the story of the woman being stoned that Jesus Christ saved? Do you recall reading anything about the man she was caught in the act of adultery with? Nope. Clearly, he was just fine and in no need of a stoning.

My question is why? Why does the society treat women like this? A man fools around and he's just being a man. He gets a slap on the back and a wink. A woman does the same and she's a slut. And gets a whipping. Or worse.

But my main angst today is not even about the different treatment meted out to women and men caught in the same immoral acts. My pain today is to do with the laws of a country that seem to give a husband more legal rights over his wife than appear just or fair or right to me.

It would appear that there are places with laws that seem to make a wife the ‘property’ of her husband; a voice-less ‘thing’ over which he has the final say, in life and in death.  I struggle with this especially today; the day we are celebrating women. My sister was a woman and her husband cremated and buried her body without giving any thought to her family. And I hear the Polish law backs him up. How can such a law even exist in this century?

How can it be right that one man can deny his wife’s family – the family that nurtured her for 29 years before he met her and was married to her for only seven? How can this seven-year connection be stronger than the bond she had with her family all of her life.

What kind of country or law would make it OK for a husband to cremate and bury his wife's ashes without consent of her family? What kind of country or law would make it OK for a husband to refuse to allow a family see the body of their dead loved one before cremating her? All this power to a man simply because a woman chose to sign the dotted lines and say ‘I do’? I just do not get it. I really do not.

But there is one thing I do know.

Today as I sat in that car pondering about all of this I knew that something had to change. I do not care how long these laws have been in place. They need to change. And so help me God, I am standing up BOLDLY to take whatever actions are needed to make this change happen.

These laws are still in in countries like Poland because nobody has challenged them. Clearly, these laws probably made sense when marriages in these countries were mono-cultural. Polish man marrying Polish woman. Hungarian man marrying Hungarian woman. Assumption is these are two families who 'get' each other and are culturally compatible. BUT once you choose to go out of your territory to marry, common sense and just plain decency demand you give allowance for the culture you marry into. The love you have for your foreign, now dead wife ought to move you to do good by her family. Even if the laws of your country don't require you to.

Truth is I have a problem with the legal rights these EU husbands appear to have. I think they need to change. Yes, something just has to change.

What am I going to do exactly? I have no clue but that’s fine. Because the first step on any change journey is to identify a need. And my pain has identified a need.

My sister, Shola shall not die in vain.

If you read this and you know what we can do to bring about change…. please connect with me. Nothing is impossible! And remember, if we sit by and let evil continue to thrive, we are as bad as those perpetuating it.

Join me, let’s be BoldForChangeForSholly.

Salt Essien-Nelson is a blogger/author based in Lagos, Nigeria. You can connect with her via her blog - The Salt Chronicles on Blogger where she is ‘seasoning’ the world around her one salt blog at a time or send her an e-mail via abimbolaen@yahoo.com

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