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Self-expression has been forced upon woman. We have grown to know and believe that all men are born free and equal, which is why it is strangely not so alarming that women concerned with liberty and equality are called all sorts of names. 

Nothing is more natural than that some women, given the same education opportunity should ponder this in their mind and decide that a premise true for their brothers, husbands and boyfriends should also hold good for themselves.

This desire of being always women is the very same consciousness that degrades the sex. She must not be dependent on her husband’s bounty for her subsistence during his life or support after his death.

How many women waste life away, the prey of discontent, who might have practiced as physicians, regulated a farm, and stood erect, supported by their own industry, instead of hanging their heads surcharged with the dew of sensibility?
How much more respectable is the woman who earns her own bread by fulfilling any duty, than the most accomplished beauty?
When observing the beginning of all abuse cases, you find that the man had been the breadwinner or provider in the relationship, which gives him the idea that he somewhat owns the woman.

However, there have been claims that mostly men who commit crimes against women are almost always on the bottom of the male power and privilege scale and therefore linking abuse of women to male power is sometimes the wrong interpretation of the truth. Women must learn as early as possible that being cute, or the mere fact that you are female will not pay the bills for you, and drum it in their heads that men are not ATM machines.

Women must learn to pay their way. It is not wrong to ask for assistance, but only do it if it is absolutely necessary. If you are the kind who expects men to provide for you, then expect that provision to come at a price.
The fact that you are still at school, you do not earn any salary and have no income whatsoever, does not mean that your partner should then be the one to maintain your lifestyle.

And no, it is not pride; it is just a principle that all women ought to live by. Men take advantage of vulnerable, needy women and these women find the obligation to stick with abusive men just because they are providers for them.
The strife for financial independence for the woman is indeed a noble enough goal and an important part of the struggle for not only the privileged but also for every woman.

Each woman should aim to be smart, successful and independent and impart the same spirit to her children, both male and female.
On a larger scale, the ideas of independence and individualism are also foundations to the construction of an economically balanced country. The achievement and maintenance of independence is a value that is freely espoused as good in its own right. But most importantly, it is an important tool in fighting gender based violence against women, as well as the protection of the vulnerable part of society.

Gugu Shongwe

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