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Opinions of Thursday, 26 August 2021

Columnist: Peter Agengre

Woman mistreated for not giving birth to a male child

Monica narrated her story to the writer Monica narrated her story to the writer

Many women in many parts of the world, still suffer abusive acts committed either by relatives or their spouses. In some communities, a woman is blamed and maltreated when there is no child after years of marriage.

The birth of a boy is usually a cause for celebration in some cultures but the birth of a girl child is generally seen as a burden. Some women in the Upper East Region are abused if they fail to give birth to boys. And this is just the latest in a series of high-profile crimes against women in the country.

Few months back, I came across this young woman from the Nabdam District who according to her is facing several forms of abuse from her husband because she has given birth to only girls. Monica and her husband have been married for fifteen years. The first 3 years of the marriage were passionate, according to her. But things started turning sour, when she had her second child - another girl. Monica and her husband currently have four children-all girls. Instead of being celebrated and loved, she is rather facing dejection. Her husband barely spends time with her. Her husband now spends more time with another woman outside their marital home, rather than his legally married wife.

“Any time I visit the market, my rival will report me to my husband that I didn’t greet her when I saw her. My husband will also beat me up and ask why I went to the market. The painful thing is that he is accusing me of not doing enough to give him a male child. He even beats up the girls anytime he sees us together. He is busy supporting my rival in her business while I suffer to fend for my children.” Monica narrated.

At a point in our conversation, Monica opened up and told me her story. She recollected how her husband threatened to send her packing because he was no longer interested in her since she hasn’t borne a male child. At this point, she could not hold back her tears and broke down.

“It came to a time he told me that he was no longer interested in me. He asked what my use here is when I am not giving him a male child. My brothers also asked him to pass through the same procedure he took and got married to me so that he can ask for the divorce.” She shared tears.

Now, Monica is very worried because her husband doesn’t give her any money for upkeep. Money for their daughters to go to school is also not forthcoming. The survival of the children depend on her. Her wish is to get some capital to begin a business and become financially independent. That way she can support her children on her own.

This situation is just one of the many acts of abuse meted out to women in some parts of the country in present day. Even though the man determines the sex of a child, women more often than not are accused and victimized for something that is no fault of theirs.

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