African women have been blogging about the important Kenyan Sexual Offences Bill which members of parliament are currently deliberating. The bill seeks seeks tougher penalties against rape and has been raising heated debate both within and outside the blogsphere.
I and many others hope to have our eyes literally on the MPs as the debates start this afternoon, by securing a seat in the public gallery. Or if not, then keep vigil outside the house.
During this bill's proceedings, a member of parliament made a disparaging statement about women that angered women members of parliament and resulted in a walkout. In response and solidarity, an incensed au lait wrote a post entitled You make me sick!!! where she says:
We (yes we women) are not going to stand your braindead, chauvinistic disrespect for women. Y'all better look for a time travel machine and transport your sorry asses to 1729 or thereabouts.
No wonder rape has reached epidemic proportions if this is the way men think…This is so outrageous. The same song is sung everyday ” in our culture…we dont do this we dont do that but what we do do is condone abuse and take away people’s human rights”. To hell with this so called culture we have, we need to get rid of it because it is killing us and destroying our lives.
… I’ve been thinking about those who are left behind. Those who do not have the disease but suffer just as much, if not more, as the one who does, whom they love…Thus, to all those who have loved and lost—the being loved part was the best…Love as hard as you can, whilst you can, because you never know when it isn’t going to be possible any more.
As I read the story I kept asking, how? How is it possible that in a city of about 7 million, not one person noticed that a neighbour, sister, cousin or friend was missing?…How can the answers to any of these questions make it any easier to accept that in spite of advancements in technology that allow us to communicate faster, easier and over longer distances so many people are living and dying alone, unnoticed and unmissed?
You’ve got to hand it to Members of the Ninth Parliament: at least they’re consistent. After all, they got into office on a pledge to improve the lives of Kenyans. Since they’re Kenyans themselves, and they’re once again raising their own allowances they may actually be deluding themselves into thinking that they’re keeping their pledge.
“We have to be part of the society which we are changing; we have to work from within it, and not try to descend like ancient gods, do something, and disappear again. A country, or a village, or a community, cannot be developed: it can only develop itself. For real development means the development, the growth, of people.”