Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation: African Powerhouse Sends ‘Powerful Signal’ About FGM With New Bill

Nigeria Bans Female Genital Mutilation: African Powerhouse Sends ‘Powerful Signal’ About FGM With New Bill.

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A little help and mothers will revive the kitchens with traditional food

Traditional LovoTraditional Baking

Fresh sea produce

This is what we are lacking in everyday life. The thrill to cook, to bake, use farm fresh and  fresh sea produce to have amazing food. Is it we have become lazy with time, we are loosing our traditional ways of cooking or is it western cruzines have become so tantalizing for our mouth? The blame goes all the way to the women as most Pacific people think that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

As I did my mini documentary for this week on the topic why people are slowly losing their traditional way of cooking and opting for fast food, I found out that women have started to work and the traditional touch to their food has become difficult to maintain.

Increasing fast life and more working women, it has become difficult to spend more time in the kitchen. In Fiji, mind set of people is such that they assume a woman’s place is in the kitchen. NO it is not.

Cooking is actually something that I enjoy. Every woman should be free from just being in the kitchen every time. In preparing for my documentary, some interviews to women also revealed that man do not take any interest in cooking. My conclusion would be that, men in Fiji rather prefer their evenings around their grog bowls.

I was puzzled to hear from my lecturer Mr. Jutel in class that “a man’s place is in the kitchen”. It was probably the first time for me to hear that from a man. It is usually opposite in Fiji.

Why not? Man in Fiji from what I have observed so far claim that they cook at weddings and functions but do not prefer cooking even a small portion at home to please their family or wife.

Meals for families should be a time to relax after a hard day’s work. If only kids of today take their time and EYES off from those gadgets then only I suppose they would be able to help their moms in the kitchen.  Mums needs us for bringing back those traditional delicious meals that were prepared before. Noodles, chips, chop suey, fried rice, chilli chicken are not our local meals. They are easy to cook but can be avoided. Even countries like South Korea, where their stapled food are as mentioned above, practises healthy eating in some places.

Having a western taste in few occasions would be nice but what about our healthy fish lolo, fresh meat stews, grills, lovos, puri, Parattah, raita, dhal, and other traditional foods we had. A little help from the men in the family and children would again revive the tables with amazing traditional foods.

Tradtional food and its method of cooking came with healthy benefits. They had essential nutrients to keep us healthy and away from non communicable diseases.

Fish miti

Healthy soups

Traditional Indian foodMoules in lolo

As far as my grandmother tells me, they used to cook dhal from different fresh pulses available from their farms. Together with that, they would add fresh vegetables to make it healthier. It was the traditional method of preparing it. But now our traditional dhal is replaced by can dhal in Fiji. How healthy is that?

Lovos were part of Sundays where men would take out time to do it every now and then. Now in Fiji lovo has become an occasional meal which is done on Christmas, or at special occasions such as weddings. Men have become lazy I suppose, since preparing for lovo is quite a skill.

Baking is something that every home was also once popular in Fiji. Mothers used to bake for every breakfast. Either it is pancakes, cakes, bread, or buns; it was never a difficult task. Now, it’s been replace by weetbix, bread from bread shops or most people go without breakfast because of the rush in the mornings.

Cooking is the most joyful thing to me. It just requires few skills of combing ingredients and adding the traditional and healthier touch to it.

Find your joy today and you’ll find out why your grandparents lived to be a hundred.

  • Fish lolo- Fresh fish cooked in coconut milk
  • Lovo- meat and root crops cooked in hot earth oven
  • Puri- tradtional indian Chappati fried in oil
  • Paratha- traditional indian chappati filled with potatoes, pulses, and other leafy ingredients
  • Raita- taditional yoghurt salad
  • Fish miti- fresh fish cooked in raw coconut milk

Is Education Really the way Out?

Violence against women is one of the major concern in  any country right now. Fiji being such a small island country compared to other countries, has many cases of violence against women.

Having a mind-set of if women are educated and earning good money, they would not be harassed or threatened has changed. In fact this has proved wrong in many circumstances. Even though women have started to achieve desired positions, education and respect in society, yet they are considered weak and are victims of violence.

Why such culture is still part of our society where a man is thought to be strong and some man also end up hitting women just because they think they are strong. Island pacific countries have taboos and regulations where man of the family is the decision maker of the family.

A woman is supposed to be agreed to what the man of the family has decided. In 21st century, don’t we realize that it is high time we give opportunity to women to have a say as well. Women look after children, house chores and running of the family. If women can look after such a huge responsibility, than why still in villages and families, women are not supposed to give their opinion  during meetings.

Women should also realize that being in a “nut shell” will only help them be more isolated and not see a future with the man of the family.

Coming back to the point where man feel they are strong and end up hitting their woman, should stop. A good example would be the recent case in Fiji where a very educated and inspiring journalist lost her life. Losana McGowan, lost her life in a domestic violence where her husband is alleged to hitting her after being drunk. Losana being educated and being a famous face of the public could not be spared from the fact of violence against women.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Center realized a report of the number and rate of violence based on gender and particularly women. The report Somebody’s Life,Everybody’s Bussiness” shows that Fiji’s rates of violence against women and girls are among the very highest in the world: 64% of women who have ever been in an intimate relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner in their lifetime, and 24% are suffering from physical or sexual partner violence today. Fiji being such a small island country and sitting on 64% is a HUGE number.

Imagine how we are tackling these issues in Fiji that the issue keeps growing and not decreasing. There needs to be further work linking how we can now address the broader issues of violence against women, gender-based violence that Losana’s death has thrown up for us as a community. Losana being an example should make us realize that even working and educated women are helpless in such situations.

Another example would be when Joytika Singh a well-known feminist and a human rights advocate was allegedly murdered by her husband. Jyotika  was enrolled at the University of the South Pacific and doing her masters before her untimely death.

Being a feminist advocate, still Jyotika could not find a safe ground to protect herself from being a victim. Is it we are not doing enough to address such issues or, if we are doing enough than we are not focusing on men to realize their mistakes.

Losana McGowan Funeral
Final Goodbye to Losana McGowan by few of media people and journalists

This may be boring if you reading it but we need to step out of our comfort zones and discuss on topics that are a major concern of the society. Loosing people like Losana McGowan is a loss for all youths and women of the society. Recognize the importance of women in your society, THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  • A very interesting video to watch from Solomon Islands.

http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/21stcentury/detail/4078215988001.html

  • For news covered on Losana McGowan and Jyotika Singh access:

http://fijisun.com.fj/2015/04/19/death-of-losana-mcgowan-opens-door-for-wider-talks-on-domestic-abuse/ http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=238933

Bitter Slices of Life

Very less of us sit and think about everyday issues that affects us. Why this happens is because many of us have become so busy with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Business, work and many other things.

What life is actually? Why we have to discriminate religion, color, gender, good and bad. Life for women could be worse than any one could have imagined. Do not do this but do this!

Gender roles and, in particular, attitudes towards female sexuality reflect how far a society has developed in terms of equal opportunities and rights for men and women. Perceptions of sexuality are part of the overall picture of a society; attitudes towards female sexuality demonstrate the place women have in that society.

Some conservative religious groups have strict role stereotypes and taboos surrounding sexuality which  have a negative effect on women. Thou we are approaching an advanced and modern world yet we have not been able to solve the problems the women face through such practices.

In Nepal, there is a practice named Chaupadi which has led women to live a life which is not normal compared to the men in the society.  Chaupadi is a traditional Hindu practice that banishes menstruating women — considered unclean — from the rest of the house. Women practicing Chaupadi are banished from home and are led to  live in an isolated sheds or houses.Women are also not allowed to use the water source that other members of that community have access to. My question to any society practicing that is why women have to go through such a thing if they are not chosen by women themselves but is an act of nature.

A school girl has to live in this shed and miss school just because she is banished from home while her menstruation
A school girl has to live in this shed and miss school just because she is banished from home during her menstruation.

The taboo associated with this practice has resulted many girls to lack adequate access to schools and other places. The girls also lack knowledge on personal hygiene and care as during their menstrual cycle they are abandoned.

Societies have endless rituals and customs which are only for women but man can live a normal life if they come across such circumstance.

In India or Indian women are required to wear white clothes as a sign of mourning after their husband passes away. It is believed that husband is a jewel for the wife after marriage. After the loss, the wife has to wear white clothes with no major jewelries on. It is believed that white color represents purity and after a loss, the white color gives strength to a woman to face challenges in her life.

Why women have to go through this kind of rituals in the society when after even wearing a white sari her sorrows would not lessen. If such claims are true than why the man of the society cannot wear the same white clothes when their wife dies. Our societies are setup in such a way that mind sets have made such rituals impossible to be abandoned.  It is different in different parts of India and Hindu societies, but eventually women have to go through some type of rituals that suppresses their freedom to live a joyful life. Slowly women are recognizing the rituals and living outside the norms and rituals but there is a very wide gap where women still live under these rituals or live without following them.

An Indian Society which requires women to wear white after the loss of their husband.
An Indian Society which requires women to wear white after the loss of their husband.

As an inspiring women I feel that such rituals are baseless and should be demolished from our societies so that women feel free to continue to live their normal lives even upon loss of their husband. The question of these are really rituals? or mind sets of people? is still there. Why women have to make choices and why not men have to follow the same rituals. If we all know we have freedom of expression, freedom of rights, and equality for women THAN why women have to be treated such in the society.

Why we act so smart on Facebook, Twitter and other social media yet when it comes down to following such simple attitudes towards women we are so dumb. Does the law of “Freedom of Expression” contradicts itself or people cannot change their SO CALLED mind-set. How about we start from today and respect every woman right or any freedom a woman wishes to  have. Just tell yourself that WE NEED TO MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS.

Freedom to choose
Freedom to choose

Why women are thought to be Different?

By the time you would have read this line, somewhere a girl would have been aborted just because she is a girl, some kids must have driven their mother crazy just because the father refuses to listen and indicates by telling “go tell your mother”, a woman must be crying because a man or a husband would have hurt her .

A man’s day starts from the bed to bathroom and to breakfast table. Why a woman’s day starts from a bed to the bathroom, to kitchen, to laundry, to house work and then to work. It’s just hard to describe how a woman keeps on doing things for the entire day yet we keep on relying on them for the cleanness of the house, for meals, responsible for disciplining the children.

Times have changed from tradition to modern, yet we are still way back in recognizing what a woman’s duties must be.

In many parts of the world, many women are forced by their husbands or in-laws to abort the child if it’s found out its going to be a girl. Why a boy is not aborted? A child who has not yet seen the world is judged before she is given any duty to perform and prove herself worthy.

Women can share the same work and earn the same. Many women today around the world are successful and earning good money. But we have yet to recognize that man still outnumber the number of women in politics, business and judiciary fields.

In pacific island countries women are still “recognizing” themselves. Women still have to come out of the paradigm where they believed that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. Very few women represent in government in the Pacific island countries. Women are not given the attention they should be given to prove themselves worthy in the work field.

Apart from how women are presented in the work fields, a woman has to decide how to dress, how to sit, how to choose friends, what time to return home, when to go somewhere. Why so many questions in mind, when it’s just a matter of the same thing a boy has to do.

If a pen falls down, a girl has to bend down without stretching far out and considering how her dress is to pick that pen. But if a boy has to pick the same pen, why he just can kick that pen further and pick out even lying on the ground.

Small issues and concerns of such might be funny to think about most of the time, but imagine a normal day of a feminine. It is just difficult, so difficult that a woman will have to take an entire week to explain how a day goes by in her life.

A man can cat call on the street but if a woman does it than it is immoral. It is difficult and even next to impossible where a woman can go on street without being cat called. Even if a woman is well dressed, her beauty would be questioned again. Words like “sexy”, “hot”, and “seductive” have totally lost their importance. They have taken the face of negative phrases which even pollutes the beauty a woman holds.

Why has the world changed and made a different perspective of what a woman is? A woman is supposed to be just a life-giver (mother), a sister, a grandmother, and an aunty. Even before any of these, she is supposed to be a woman. A gender or sex not undermining what treatment we give to the person. A woman is supposed to dress freely, shop freely, roam the streets freely, choose her job freely, and spend her day freely and most importantly be a human that is free from others thoughts.

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Hello world!

This is my very first blog. I am currently a Journalism and Politics student. I have a very keen interest in analyzing and having critical thinking towards any feminist issues that surrounds us. Women play a very vital role and their lives are very different from what a man’s life could be. My blog is all about a Feminist’s perspective of Living a life. HAPPY READING !!! 🙂 🙂