In some parts of Africa, gender roles is something that is still dominant, where only men are privileged. This is an open letter to my friends there from the U.S.:
I have received your letter, and I am so happy to hear from you. It has been one year now that you left from Potu. When I read your letter, I remembered our long speeches about gender roles. You really wanted to change things; you fought for women emancipation in Potu. I can see you again in front of people the day of the conference about Equality of Sexes, arguing with this young man about the place of women in the society. Unfortunately, since you left, things remain the same and even worst. Men feel threaten by this wave of speculation for the equality of sexes. There is a big gap concerning gender roles between Potu and US. Contrary to US, in Potu, only men have the economic power. They have the right to go to school, to be educated and to command women.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your graduation. I know how much you struggled to get this master degree. Also, congratulations for your new job. I have got my Master degree too but unlike you, I am not working. Not because I didn’t find a job yet, because my husband doesn’t want. I can imagine your face after reading this sentence! My husband is the head of the family; I have to do what he wants. This is how I have been educated. My mother always taught me that my husband is my “God”. This is not what I have learnt at school, but this is our realities. I have to stay home, take care of our son and do the housework.
By the way, how is your husband? Do you remember when he came to visit you when you were still with me in Potu? He was so excited. I still have this picture of him in the cornfield. This day, you had an argument with him because you didn’t want to let him try to cultivate. When I think about that, I realize that you guys are so free. One week ago, my husband’s friends came home for a game of cards. They were in the living room playing and talking. I was in the bedroom when I noticed that it was time for my television series. So I went in living room and turn on the TV. My husband, suddenly upset, asked me what I was doing. I tried to explain and he screamed at me: “Shut up woman! Don’t dare answer to me. This is not a place for women. I am with my friends; you know that you allowed to be here. So why are you challenging me”? As you can see, over here, women cannot be in the same room with men, and the worst is that I cannot discuss what he says.
Tracy my friend, when I see the differences between Potu and US, I am sad. Sad to see that Emancipation is just a word here. I am lucky to be among those women who have done long studies. But, Women do not want to take the risk to fight for a “lost cause”. They are taking pleasure of being in this situation instead of fighting for the equality. I just hope that the next generation will have a fighting spirit and trace a route for equality of sexes.