Say No to Rape

In as much as it may seem not so heartbreaking from a distance, the pain of rape hits so hard when the victim is someone close to us. While the victims may look happy around people; fake a smile, yes, and of course, force a laugh, it is a feeling that may take them forever to move on and a deep wound that may take forever to heal.

Rape happens to both males and females. My area of interest is women because they go through a lot of sexual harassment but their voices are not audible enough to be heard. I, Zuleika Nanguwo will speak for them and I say, "NO TO RAPE".

How can I pretend that I do not know what women are going through in the world? How can I sit down and smile when someone innocent out there is crying but nobody seems to hear a thing? How can I not take my pen and write all about it when I know this might change someone's life out there and silence this act from men? How can I not feel the pain when my sister from another mother has been sexually abused?

Just the thought of this indecent act breaks my heart. Often times, in our society we disregard women's rights and safety. This happens because society has chosen to believe and take women as weak characters thereby violating their rights sexually and in other ways. Sometimes when such cases have been reported to the authorities, men often get away with it by saying "She asked for it." How can we have a better society when women's rights are being violated each and every day??

One thing that gets me so surprised is when sexual assault cases are trivialized by people happily saying "boys will always be boys." Let me press the pause button here. Boys will always be boys by forcing themselves on Innocent souls? Just a question to men who do this, and those who justify such actions with these words, how would you feel if your sister or mother got raped?

We all know the feeling. So why can't we all act civilized and make a better society?

In saying a better society, this means all women should be treated with respect. No woman deserves harsh treatment. Our bodies are meant to be respected not abused. If we want sex, let it be out of our own will. DO NOT FORCE US, DO NOT THREATEN US. We have rights and they shall not be violated TODAY, NOT TOMORROW, NOT EVER!!!

Here in Malawi, we have some traditional beliefs that violate women's rights. It is really okay to respect beliefs we have in our societies, but not all traditions are meant to be followed. How can it be a tradition for girls to be made to have sex with a paid sex worker known as a "Hyena" once they reach puberty? It is such a shame that this act is not seen by the village elders as rape, but rather seen as a form of ritual "cleansing."

This hyena man slept with more than 104 women and girls and yet his two wives were aware of his work. Women, why do we allow such actions from men? Malawi, why have we been acknowledging this tradition for years? The victims' rights were violated because they were introduced to sexual activities at such a young age. At this stage, they are supposed to be taught how to take care of themselves as well as be educated on how bad sexual activities are and civic educate them on contraceptives. In this way, they would be able to know how cold the world can be on the outside.

Let us end such traditional beliefs and work on protecting women's rights and developing the country. I would like to take this moment and thank Gender activist Emma Kaliya for playing a great role in this hyena issue. I personally appreciate you for fighting for our (women) rights in a way.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us say no to rape. It is not fun, it kills, it destroys. If we all stand together this one time, then no woman will go through such situations.


Zuleika Nanguwo Works™ Copyrights Reserved®

A holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Blantyre International University, Malawi. She’s a writer, a motivational speaker, an actress, a model, and a feminist.

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