One Billion Rising for Justice Swaziland Together with the women’s movement (Swaziland Women In Action) and Yebo ArtReach Commemorated the International Women’s day in different ways on the 8th of March 2014.
“Today is International Women’s day under the theme “inspiring change” what are you doing to inspire change in your community message from One Billion Rising For Justice Campaign through SCCCO”
The event was held at Nkambeni in the Hhohho region.
The event was attended by 500 women from the four regions of Swaziland (Hhohho, Manzini, Shiselweni and Lubombo).
To commemorate the day we had a women’s convention were women discussed issues that affect them. The issues discussed ranged from social, economic and political issues.
Below are some of the issues that were discussed:
Social and economic issues discussed:
– Decentralisation of clinics and hospitals- it was discussed that there is a need for decentralisation of service delivery
– Un availability of medication in local clinics
– Expensive consultation fees or medication
– Unfriendly services given by health practitioners or nurse- it was discussed that government should train the health practitioners on how to handle patients.
– Multiple partners should not be allowed- In Swaziland it is normal that a man can have more than one partners.
– Woman should be allowed to listen when the doctor is seeing her husband. A woman is the one who knows what is wrong with the husband, they are normally not allowed to seat in when the husband is seeing doctor
– Communities should be provided with holding cells
– Women should speak out when abused
– The Ministry of Health should educate man about the use of condom. Currently women are beaten by their husbands when initiating the use of condom.
– There is a need for free education at all levels ( Primary school, secondary school, high school and tertiary level )
– The girl child must be given equal preference to education as the boy child- there was a concern that a girl child is withdrawn from school once pregnant.
– Government should pay for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) – Government only pay part of the school fees and the child is expected to add to up fee. The question where is the money going to come from when both parents have died.
– Women should encourage their girl children to study- It was discussed that women play major role in a child’s upbringing and should make sure that they encourage their girl child to further her education if opportunities avail.
– Women need to be educated about the constitution. Most of them do not understand what the constitution is all about.
– Widows are abused by their in laws once their husbands die- It was discussed that it is important that women be sensitised about their rights.
– Women need to be sensitised about the marriage they are entering into.
– Man should be included in such meetings so that they can also support their wives.
– Spirit of sister hood was emphasised
– It is important that women do something. E.g. self employment- to avoid being abused.
It was discussed that women should be included in all decision making structures. The barriers of socialisation have to be removed. It was also discussed that women have to support each other and have confidence in each other in order to have more women in decision making.
The gender Consortium discussed about the on- going campaign for the inclusion of the four women in parliament which are from the four regions of Swaziland. The women supported the spirit of the campaign.
Women were glad in traditional attires and One Billion Rising t-shirts. Throughout the event women were sing and dancing, chanting songs that call to an end to violence against women and girls.