We’ve all been somewhat educated about Imperialism in Africa. In non other than History class which is ironic in and of itself seeing as we are still putting up puppet leaders, funding wars, controlling resources and attempting to westernize them.
Several years ago I happened upon Corinne Hofmann’s book The White Masai. It told her story- the story of a Swiss woman that had followed her Masai lover into the bush.
While we invest so much in modernizing Africa, when it comes to the bush-tribes, we’ve (relatively) chosen to leave them alone. Is it perhaps because the main sufferers are women?
Masai women are raped on a daily basis (according to western definition and law). They don’t have any remote chance at education, equal opportunity or decision making within their tribe, let alone within the country they live in.
Was imperialism not entirely in the wrong and, more importantly, should we perhaps bring some form of it back (publicly, admittedly), to those specific places where ancient practices blatantly come at the expense of women’s basic human rights (as defined by the united nations)?
You may wonder why I’m already jumping at the western world and not initially claiming we should encourage their local governments to get involved. My argument rests on the fact that though in some countries (Liberia is a prime example) women are making advancements, those are women from the big cities, women from villages where modernizations’ grasp has reached. Not bush-women.
Women in the western world have gained more power than women in Africa, as a whole. We have more say in our politics than they do. Dumping this responsibility on African governments is bound to produce (if at all) results that wouldn’t come anywhere near our definition of basic women’s rights. Not anytime in the near or distant future.
Which in my opinion leaves it up to us. Bringing back the dilemma of whether this would be ‘moral’ according to our western moral codes of conduct.
I tend to always go with helping every single woman on the planet. Even when it comes at the expense of cultural identity, because in a vast majority, this cultural identity was developed and promoted by men that always held the upper hand (literally).
Islamic women are finding a way to gain their rights within Islamic culture, as are religious Jewish women within Judaism.
It’s time to interfere, send in the ‘morality army’ and save these women.